San Antonio Seminarians

These are the men studying to be priests here in the Archdiocese. They are from different places, with different stories, and in different levels of study. If you are discerning, maybe their stories may help you in your journey. We hope you will pray for them as they continue walking the path God has laid out for them.

Deacon Jorge Campos

Level of Study: 4th Theology
Home Parish: San Javier de las Colinas, Guadalajara, México

In my vocation and maturity process I have always seen the love of Our Lady holding me by the hand and guiding me. Ever since I was a kid, I have been moved by Pope John Paul II’s courage, piety and humanism. I’ve also been encourage by the positive life testimonies and personal commitment of some priest friends of mine. But, I especially owe my vocation to my parents. What is it that attracts me to Priesthood? Living for Christ and the Church, by serving others, is the only human thing worth living my life for.

Deacon Jason Martini

Level of Study: 4th Theology
Home Parish: Sts. Peter and Paul, New Braunfels, Texas

I began discerning my vocation as a young altar boy when Father Kris Bauta asked if I ever considered becoming a priest. His question remained with me throughout college, law school and a brief professional career. I received the gift of the Holy Spirit as confirmation of my calling and I now joyfully anticipate giving my self to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Deacon Christopher Muñoz

Level of Study: 4th Theology
Home Parish: Shrine of St. Padre Pio, San Antonio, Texas

My vocation has been influenced by the many people God has lovingly placed in my life, namely my parents and the Rodriguez family. They have always been there to inspire and motivate me and my faith. As a priest I look forward to serving Christ and his people.

Jupiter Diloy

Level of Study: 3rd Theology
Home Parish: Sta. Rosa de Lima, Santa Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines

In search for meaning of life and its direction, I met God not only in the grand, major turning points of my life but also in the mundane, everyday grind. I discovered God’s call in the intimacy of prayer; and I responded by undertaking the spiritual life. To do it concretely, I am trying to practice the holiest and most necessary – that of the presence of God who penetrates my entire life to the point of making it a prolonged adoration and an actual union. When I said yes to God’s call in this vocation to the priesthood, in spite of my clumsy words and less-than-perfect life, I sensed within that it is God’s desire to communicate salvation’s message through me. And in doing this mission, I can be sure that God will forever be with me and with all of us who heed and have responded to the same call.

Brian Garcia

Level of Study: 3rd Theology
Home Parish: St. Francis of Assisi, San Antonio, Texas

My family first inspired me because of the love they have for each other, for me and for God. Another inspiration is St. Thomas More who, under tremendous pressure from Henry VII and others, defended the faith until his last breath. I look forward to helping defend the faith, helping the poor, and making the Archdiocese stronger.

Miguel Moreno

Level of Study: 3rd Theology
Home Parish: Sacred Heart, San Antonio, Texas

The missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are the faithful servants that have inspired me. I grew up with them and have worked with them for many years, years that will always be remembered as prime examples of faith, hope, and love. Through their service they have brought many to experience the gift of love that God give us. And now, it is I that need to take that leap of faith to serve God’s people with love.

Godwin Nyamu

Level of Study: 3rd Theology
Home Parish: Church of the Holy Spirit, San Antonio, Texas

My discernment has been aided by my parents and friends, and especially by Fr. Michael who was my life-long pastor. He taught me how to strive for holiness through his preaching and by his example. He nourished me with the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. He reconciled me to God when I sinned. He was my Spiritual Father. He was a constant and stable presence of God throughout my life. I believe God is calling me to serve him, the Church, and his people, and I look forward to bringing a love of the faith to people as somethign wonderful and enjoyable.

Danny Nyangau

Level of Study: 3rd Theology
Home Parish: Embu, Kenya

My first attraction to the vocation to priesthood as a child was the beauty of the cincture that the priests use to fasten the alb around their waist. Over the years of formation I have been inspired by many people of God including two Kenyan Bishops who happened to be my formators. One was a Diocesan while the other was an Opus Dei prelature priest then. Their great faith, availability in service to the people and intellect inspired me to dedicate private prayer for the people I meet each day. I have come to realize that conformity to Christ is not an act but a daily surrender to Christ’s love, renewal of personal commitment to joy and happiness in Christ for without Him we are not. My daily prayer is “Lord, remind me good things about people, erase bad memories and let me embrace your joy in the service of your people” Amen.

Abel Ruiz

Level of Study: Pastoral Year (Our Lady of Guadalupe,
                                              Helotes, Texas)
Home Parish: St. Matthew, San Antonio, Texas

My desire is help people grow in their knowledge and love of God and to help them develop a friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ. As a priest, I hope to show people the importance of the Sacraments, especially that of Confession and Eucharist. My call to the priesthood was initiated by the many wonderful programs on Catholic radio and television and nurtured by Holy Mass and Adoration. Please pray a  Memorare for me!

Daniel Villarreal

Level of Study: Pastoral Year (St. Luke, San Antonio, Texas)
Home Parish: Monterrey, N.L., México

Sharing my life in Christ with a great community was the environment where I discovered my call. I look forward to celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, with a group of people who long for God’s infinite Love.

Michael English

Level of Study: 2nd Theology
Home Parish: St. Luke, San Antonio, Texas

Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection inspired me to follow Him, communicate His teachings, and make His salvation known by the forgiveness of sins. I pray to someday serve God’s people as a loving and caring priest.

Johnson Le

Level of Study: 2nd Theology
Home Parish: Vietnamese Martyrs, San Antonio, Texas

My second home was the Church. I remember regularly altar serving and being around for the youth group. It just felt right, and the thought of Priesthood would always come up in conversations with different people. If God grants me the grace of priesthood, I am especially looking foward to celebrating the Mass and hearing confessions.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Level of Study: 1st Theology
Home Parish: Our Lady of Grace, San Antonio, Texas

Deacon Ray Flores’ prayers over me began my conversion to our faith. The feeling of being so in peace with God after his prayers got me to realize that I have been running away from God for way to long. It was time to come home and to become what I was meant to become- a priest. I am very much looking forward to helping those in need and to live my faith by example.

Blayne Riley

Level of Study: 1st Theology
Home Parish: Shrine of St. Padre Pio, San Antonio, Texas

My vocation story is one of a long road beginning with my conversion to Catholicism. It was during my time altar serving that someone first asked if I had thought of becoming a priest. Since that time, and reflecting back, I have seen Our Lady, Mother of Priests watching over me and guiding me to where I am today. What attracts me personally to the priesthood? Celebrating the Sacraments and serving God's people and accompanying them on their faith journey.

Cameron Galvan

Level of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Rose of Lima, San Antonio, Texas

My mother and grandfather are my inspirations for my vocation. During the year I was to celebrate my confirmation, my mother inspired me to live a virtuous life which included praying the rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and to read the Holy Bible on my own. After my confirmation, I became the youth minister at my parish, St. Rose of Lima and became involved in Knights of Columbus, and ACTS ministries. My grandfather is a deacon at Our Lady of Guadalupe church on the west side of San Antonio, and he inspired me to serve the church as my vocation. As a young boy, I always knew that I when I grew up I wanted to serve the church either as a husband or a priest. I try my hardest to surrender myself each day and ask God to lead me where He wants me to go. “To you oh God, I lift up my soul, I lift up my spirit to my Lord.” - Psalm 50

Ian Robbins

Level of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Mark the Evangelist, San Antonio, Texas

I was first called to the priesthood in the 7th Grade, but chose to pursue other things as I made my way through high school. It wasn’t until I became a student at Texas State University in San Marcos that I truly found the beauty of this call and chose to pursue it whole-heartedly.

Matthew Trompler

Level of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Mark the Evangelist, San Antonio, Texas

My vocation was inspired by those priests who met with me and talked with me in a personal way. I look forward to serving others the best way I can and giving my all to them.

Paul Melgarejo

Level of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Francis of Assisi, San Antonio, Texas

I was inspired by the witness of priests like Fr. Dennis Arrechiga, Fr. Jimmy Drennan, Fr. Eric Ritter, and Fr. Larry Christian who inspired my vocation. They helped me to see God's call in many ways and to feel the Holy Spirit's movement in me. Because of this, I decided to follow Jesus Christ's call to serve him with all my heart and soul. If granted the grace of priesthood, I hope to help bring unity to my community, with compassion and humility. "For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation." - Psalm 149:4

Edward Gonzales

Level of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Monica, Converse, Texas

My vocation really manifested itself while I was teaching for Confirmation preparation at my home parish. My desire to spread the Good News grew under the guidance of Father Mauricio Lopez. He helped me realize that although I enjoyed serving people, I truly desired to shepherd God's people as a priest.

Jonathan George

Level of Study: 1st Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Francis of Assisi, San Antonio, Texas

As a convert to the Catholic Faith, the story of my calling is intimately tied to the story of my coming to faith. I remember the first time I felt the call was when I was nine, and, despite my human stubbornness, God kept calling and pulling me until I could find no more excuses. I am here solely for the love of Christ, and I hope for the day that I am able to call down the Holy Spirit to administer the sacraments to His people. I cannot do this alone, however, and I ask that you say prayers not only for me, but my family as well.

Phillip Escobedo

Level of Study: 1st Pre-Theology
Home Parish: Prince of Peace, San Antonio, Texas

My parents introduced me to God and raised me with a daily reminder of the importance of prayer: before meals, going to sleep, or leaving for school, etc. The call towards priesthood was first there as a child, and has always been a question at the back of my mind. I began to embrace my faith during college and actively discerned that call after first attending the Life Awareness Vocation retreat, but because of many doubts and fears, I didn't progress. What helped me move past them was the help of some good spiritual directors, prayer (my own and those of others), and many holy men and women in my parish community, and the wider Church community as well. As a priest, I hope to bring others to God and be an instrument of his love and mercy, especially in celebration of the Sacraments.

Michael Langford

Level of Study: 1st Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Mark the Evangelist, San Antonio, Texas

At one very important moment, one of my good friends told me that I should be come a priest. Ever since I heard her words, God has been drawing me closer to himself in my process of discerment. The thing I am looking forward to most is bringing everyone to whom I will minister as a priest closer to God.

Matthew De Leon

Level of Study: 4th College
Home Parish: St. John the Evangelist, Hondo, Texas

My vocation was aroused most by the Catholic community in which I grew up. I learned very early in my life about the examples of such holy men as St. Josemaría Escrivá and St. Pio of Pietrelcina. My life has always belonged to our Father.

Justin Jonas

Level of Study: 3rd College
Home Parish: St. Victor Chapel, Lakehills, Texas

While I did not realize it at the time, I understand now that God began to lead me to the priesthood during my freshmen year of college as I was attending a Franciscan Catholic university. Hence, I truly believe that Jesus used the life of St. Francis of Assisi to bring me closer to Him. Through St. Francis’ intercession and by the grace of God, I developed a greater love for God, His creation, and our Catholic faith. With that in mind, I became more active in living out my faith in various capacities, such as attending Daily Mass and growing in my prayer life. Later, I began attending different vocation discernment retreats, which helped me realize God’s calling in my life all the more clearly, and I soon began the application process at Assumption Seminary for the diocesan priesthood.

Ricardo Ramírez

Level of Study: 3rd College
Home Parish: Resurrection of the Lord, San Antonio, Texas

My vocation was and is, inspired by Christ since my early childhood but was helped by Msgr. Adolfo Valdivia. What I look forward to is giving greater glory to God, following his call and serving the people of God.

James Russell

Level of Study: 3rd College
Home Parish: St. Peter the Apostle, Boerne, Texas

It is Jesus and Mary who have led me to my vocation. Their Love for God and His children has enkindled a like love in my heart. My heart burns to give myself fully to God and His Church and it will be a great joy to bring Christ to the people and celebrate the Sacraments. The love of others, especially family, friends, Religious, and fellow parishioners has been a great support.

Adrian Salazar

Level of Study: 3rd College
Home Parish: Prince of Peace, San Antonio, Texas

I started discerning my senior year of high school. My church community inspired my vocation especially my pastor, Father Pat, and my youth minister, Carlos Cerna. What I look forward to the most about being a priest is administering the sacraments, which is God’s greatest expression of love for us. Please pray for me and my brother seminarians.

Juan Villanueva

Level of Study: 3rd College
Home Parish: St. Joan of Arc, Kirby, Texas

Different people have pointed out to me my call without my noticing it at first. Fr. Francisco Puente has been inspiring to me in my call to priesthood since I met him. His sincerity and his love in service is what allows me to see God in his life. I myself would like to serve God and my community with the same joy and love.

Hector Muñiz

Level of Study: 2nd College
Home Parish: St. Joan of Arc, Kirby, Texas

My sister Tatiana inspired my vocation. Watching her life change completely around, as she gave her whole body and soul to God was so amazing to me. It inspired me to do the same thing through my own calling. So, if God allows me to become a priest one day, I hope I can help someone change their life around for God, too.

José Sandoval

Level of Study: 2nd College
Home Parish: St. Anthony Mary Claret, San Antonio, Texas

Martin Troncoso II

Level of Study: 2nd College
Home Parish: Church of the Good Shepherd, Schertz, Texas

My inspiration came from peers in my church youth group, my pastor, Fr. Ed Pavlicek, and my youth ministers. If I do become a priest, I want to spread God's word and love to those that do not know it and minister to the poor in the community.

Mario Contreras

Level of Study: 1st College
Home Parish: Sacred Heart, San Antonio, Texas

It all started when I was praying in my room when I felt the all to the priesthood. Then everybody in the Church started asking me if I was going to be a priest that was when I said to myself that I really wanted to start my discernment. I also had the strong support of my mother throughout the process. If I become a priest my goal is to be a happy priest, one who helps the poor, the elderly, and the depressed, and who helps others to deepen their knowledge of God.

Seminarians connected to the Archdiocese in formation for other communities

Juan Carlos Tejada

Level of Study: 4th Theology
Community: Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador

Br. Sean Stilson, BBD

Level of Study: 
Community: Brothers of the Beloved Disciple

When I was younger I read a lot about the saints and wanted to live the way they did: giving everything to God. I got to know Jesus from reading the Bible and felt challenged when he said “some…have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” and when St. Paul said “the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better.” I thought to myself, “if celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of God is better than marriage, why would I choose marriage?” I want to belong totally to Jesus Christ because I love him and I want to help him advance his kingdom against Satan’s kingdom. There is a war going on and I can’t stand to be on the sidelines. That is why I want to be a priest and a religious.

Levels of Study

There are various levels of seminary study:

  • Language – Study for English proficiency
  • College – For those who do not yet have an undergraduate degree there is college seminary
  • Pre-Theology – For those who have an undergraduate or other degrees but have not completed the required number of credit hours in Philosophy and Religious studies set by the US Bishops
  • Theology – There are 4 years of Theology in the major seminary program
  • Pastoral Year – Usually between the second and third year of Theology, the seminarians spend a year living in a parish community learning hands on through full-time ministry