As we celebrate the Memorial of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, let us recall that for us as Christians, death is a positive option; particularly death by martyrdom for Jesus Christ. We are meant to understand martyrdom, even if it were to be accompanied by torture, as a mark of preferential love for us from God our Father, the chance to live out the meaning of our Baptism to the full. Thus, if we should ever find ourselves about to be martyred, our reaction ought not be “Oh no! Why me!”, but rather “Yes!” with rejoicing to realize that God loves us so much as to invite us to give our life for Christ and receive a greater share of His glory in heaven. To prepare ourselves to correspond with God’s grace, let us pray for greater fortitude, the virtue by which we confront the greatest obstacles and endure the greatest sufferings on behalf of the faith, the virtue with which St. John the Baptist was filled. May it enable us to stand strong in the face of death, believing like St. Paul “that the sufferings of this present life are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).
About Fr. Ricardo Pineda
Fr. Ricardo was born on August 4, 1987, into a Catholic family of both Salvadoran and Mexican descent. He is a native of San Diego, California. Following high school, he attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While in studies at Notre Dame, he played trumpet in the marching Band of the Fighting Irish. In May of 2008, he graduated from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a minor in Theology.
Fr. Ricardo began hearing a call to the priesthood as early as age 6, but it was not until his freshmen year of high school that he began serious discernment of his vocation in prayer. This discernment continued throughout high school and college. After learning more about the vocation to priesthood as well as the vocation to marriage, he discovered that although the thought of marriage made him happy, he imagined himself happier as a priest, serving God for the salvation of souls. So by the end of his second year at Notre Dame, he had accepted God’s call to the priesthood with a firm “Yes!” In time, he further discerned a call to the religious life.
Fr. Ricardo joined the Fathers of Mercy as a postulant in July of 2008. Following his one year novitiate, he professed his first year of temporary vows of Obedience, Poverty, and Chastity on August 14, 2009. He graduated from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in 2013, and was ordained a priest for the Fathers of Mercy in 2013. He is currently serving as an associate pastor of St. Helen Catholic Church in Glasgow, KY, Our Lady of the Caves Catholic Church in Horse Cave, KY, Holy Cross Catholic Church in Burkesville, KY, and Emmanuel Catholic Church in Albany, KY.