The Journey Has Just Begun
Frs. Leo Tiburcio and Luis Romero, CM, have studied hard for 10 years, learning subjects like philosophy, theology, the sacred Scripture, and the sacraments. It’s been an exciting journey filled with a range of emotions about their calling and the road that lies ahead.
“When we entered the process of discernment,” says Fr. Leo, “one of the things we were concerned about was money. You ask yourself, ‘How am I going to live?’”
The road to priesthood is a long one, so the concern is valid. Fr. Luis reflects. “The process for seminary formation has been difficult. It’s challenging, but it’s possible.” He adds, “The community has been very, very supportive. I’ve learned how to be a better person.”
Both men have worked hard, living out the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul in their ministries of helping the poor.
“The Vincentian mission is not about being self-centered, but rather reaching out and helping others,” says Fr. Luis.
Fr. Leo agrees, “Being a Vincentian is about service. It’s not just preaching service, but living it. That’s what St. Vincent did. He didn’t just say, ‘Let’s help the poor.’ He really did it.”
Just as important as the study and the work, both priests have fervently prayed and drawn closer to Mary. Fr. Leo tells us, “Mary’s whole life was a yes to God’s will. So, when I am about to make a difficult decision, I say, ‘Mary, help me. I don’t know how this is going to happen; I’m afraid, but help me to say yes to God like you did.’ She has been part of my journey.”
Fr. Luis also recognizes Mary’s role in his seminary experience. “The first year of my formation, I remember praying the Novena to the Miraculous Medal every week, coming to the Miraculous Medal Shrine and praying in this beautiful place. That’s how I came to grow in my love for Mary.”
Both priests agree that the journey has been an adventure, and they are excited about their futures.
“I’m really looking forward to my ministry,” says Fr. Leo. “I want to be with the people, not solely for the celebration of the Mass but also living the joyful—and tough—moments.”
Fr. Luis concurs. “Today’s world is challenging, and people need to hear a message of hope.”
Smiling, he continues, “Now I see that what I had dreamed as a kid—bringing joy to people by serving them and giving them the sacraments—is becoming a reality.”