Many parishes have young men from their parish ordained to the priesthood. Not many parishes ever get to have the ordination of one of their parish “sons” actually take place in their own church. It was a great blessing for Nuestra Madre de La Luz Parish here in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, México to be able to witness and celebrate Fr. Carlos Augusto Jacobo de los Santos, C.S.C., a son of our parish, being ordained to the priesthood on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – here in our own church.
Our parish had celebrated previously the Final Vows and the Ordination to the Diaconate of Fr. Carlos, but this meant even more to the people because one of their own was now “El Padre” or the priest and would now be able to celebrate Mass and hear their confessions.
On that beautiful December Saturday morning, Monseñor Jorge Cavazos Arizpe, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Monterrey came to our parish to ordain Fr. Carlos. It was a great joy for our parish family to gather with Fr. Carlos’ family and our Holy Cross family to pray with and for Fr. Carlos as he was ordained a priest.
A bus full of family members traveled through the night from Mexico City to get to our parish in time for this Ordination. Numerous Holy Cross priests, brothers, and sisters traveled from afar to be here as well for the Ordination. Parishioners from Saint John Vianney Parish, the parish where Fr. Carlos had been serving as a deacon in Arizona, also traveled to our parish to be a part of this celebration. As all of us gathered together for this ordination liturgy, Fr. Carlos’ parents, Sabino y Abelina, and his brothers were beaming with joy and pride.
One of the beautiful things about this Ordination was the way that the entire community pulled together to make this happen. There were many details of the ordination liturgy that needed to be taken care of by parishioners – liturgical ministries, decorations, music, etc. Parishioners from our main church, our four chapel communities, and all of the groups and ministries of the parish made tamales and provided for the reception that followed the Ordination in our parish hall.
If that weren’t enough, Fr. Carlos had three “canta misas” or “first Masses” in our parish. The first was Saturday night at San Matías Chapel. This was the chapel where Fr. Carlos made his First Communion. The next morning he celebrated Mass at Santa Cruz Chapel, his home chapel. That was the biggest celebration that chapel has ever seen as the kid from down the street celebrated a Sunday Mass there for the first time. Finally, Fr. Carlos celebrated our Sunday evening youth Mass. Each of these Masses was also followed by a sit down meal, provided by the goodness and generosity of our parishioners in each place. Four parties in one weekend. Amazing!
Every time that I have the opportunity to celebrate a Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Parish, my home parish in Trenton, Michigan, I remind the young people that my presence there is a reminder that God is calling young people in that parish to the religious life and priesthood just as God called me from those same pews. Fr. Carlos and the celebration of his ordination in our parish is a reminder for our young people as well that God is calling young people in La Luz Parish to vocations as priests, brothers, and sisters. I hope and pray that we will have many more young people in our parish who will respond as Father Carlos did to God’s call to become Holy Cross priests, brothers, or sisters.
Fr. John Herman, C.S.C., is the Pastor of Nuestra Madre Santísima de la Luz Parish, in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, México. He professed Final Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 27, 1994 and was ordained to the priesthood on April 22,1995. Fr. John is a regular contributor to the Spes Unica Blog, writing about his work at our parish there. Learn more about the missionary work of the United States Province in México and around the world.