Mr. Diego Valdez

Diego Valdez
City
Boulder
State
CO
High School
St. Benedict’s Preparatory School Newark, NJ
Class Year
Itinerancy

What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood
One of the biggest factors that helped me to make a decision was to ponder the question: “What am I supposed to do with my life?” My father had asked what were my plans after High School, and that helped me to ask God sincerely what he wanted me to do with my life. I was also an altar server in my parish (Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Boulder, CO), and I remember that serving at Mass I found myself truly at peace, a peace that I could not find anywhere else. All of this helped me to consider the priesthood as an option in my life. Attending the World Youth Day pilgrimage in Brazil with Pope Francis, further confirmed and solidified this vocation in me.

Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
One of the people that truly influenced my decision was a former parochial vicar of my parish. I could see the happiness in this man and how he carried himself with humility. When I realized this, I said to myself, “I want to have that same joy and humility.” I was also very helped by my Neocatechumenal community that helped me discover God’s call to the priesthood, to have courage to leave everything behind and follow the Lord, and that even now prays for me during this time in the seminary.

What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
I would say that prayer for a seminarian is essential, for I have experienced in my own life that when I am not praying I just cannot stand the other. I am unable to die for the other, and I lose sight of what God is calling me to do. I’m still learning how to be faithful in my prayers, and how to make it my daily bread, but I’m grateful because God has already blessed me by giving me the grace to talk to him.

What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
Be not afraid. Don't run from anything you feel God is asking of you. Stay close to our Lord in prayer. Be open to His will and seek to serve Him in all that you do.

What do you like most about being a seminarian?
I would have to say the availability of approaching God on a daily basis through prayer, the life of the seminary – liturgies, spiritual formation, pastoral activities, studies – and finally the privilege and joy to see the miracles of the evangelization transforming peoples’ lives.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
I would say it is the persecution of the world. Simply because to the world it is illogical for a man to want to become a priest and live a celibate lifestyle. The world entices us with being somebody, to have power, and be free to do your will. Of course sometimes the world is inside of me, but there is no doubt that the world is the enemy of God.

What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
As you may imagine, I could see the Rocky Mountains of Colorado every day from my window. I enjoy mountain biking, hiking and playing basketball. I also enjoy reading a good book, watching movies, visiting new cities or just simply relaxing.

What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
I believe the best way to encourage vocations in the Archdiocese is to share in our parishes the graces and the joy to serve God and his people. I think this is done when a priest presents the priesthood as something that brings joy and peace to one’s life. It sounds simple, but many of my friends never had anybody talking to them about it.  Finally, I do believe that the Christian family is the most effective source of vocations to the priesthood, marriage and religious life.

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Diego Valdez
City
Boulder
State
CO
High School
St. Benedict’s Preparatory School Newark, NJ
Class Year
Itinerancy