I was born and raised in Silver Spring, MD. My parents immigrated to the US in the 1970s, met here and married in 1982; my father being from the Domincan Republic, and my mother from Nicaragua. I actually did not speak much English until I began school and learned it quickly, while in the process completely losing the ability to speak Spanish. In High School, however, I re-developed my Spanish with some friends who were in need of someone to help them with English, so I’m happy to say that I can speak both Spanish and English relatively well.
I remember that as a child my family didn’t go to Church too often, but after beginning religious education at our parish and becoming an altar server, we began to attend Holy Mass regularly. Late in High School, I began to attend 3-day mini-versions of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. While these retreats were great opportunities to get to know the Lord, after they were over I would always let the world draw me back into a life of at-best spiritual and moral mediocrity. After High School I struggled and after three years I was on Academic Suspension from the University I was attending. I honestly did not know what I wanted to do with my life, but I did have a passion for hard work(outside of the classroom), and I worked for a few years at UPS as a Package Handler and Supervisor.
In 2007 I began to realize that although I loved my job, my life still had no general direction, and I was probably as far away from God as I ever had been in my life. That year, though, I attended another Ignatian retreat and I left with a new found love of God and, in particular, I remember having left the retreat with a love and desire to know more of the Blessed Virgin. It is Mary who brings us to her son Jesus as we know, and truly this is what she did for me. As I developed a stronger relationship with our Lord Jesus, I felt that he was calling me to be a Priest and Religious, though I had many objections at first. I had a strong desire to learn more about my Catholic faith, and I began to watch EWTN, where I first saw the preaching of the Fathers of Mercy. I went back to college as well, this time doing a lot better. In 2009, I was invited to attend the FOCUS national conference in Orlando, FL and I got to meet some of the priests and brothers of the Fathers of Mercy. A few months later, I made a visit to the Fathers and I immediately felt that it was the place for me. I was accepted into postulancy in February 2011, was received into the Novitiate in August 2011, and made first temporary vows on August 14th 2012.