en espanol Mass Times Employment St. John Center About Contact

 

Administration and Personnel

Adoption Services

Alcohol and Drug Ministry

Arkansas Catholic

Building Commission

Campus Ministry

Calvary Cemetery

CASA

CCHD

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Charities

Catholic Schools Office

Chancery Office

Christopher Homes

Continuing Education for Clergy

Cursillo

Diaconate

Diocesan Officials

Divine Worship

Ecumenical Office

Family Life

Faith Formation

Finance Office

Hispanic Ministry

Immigration-Little Rock

Immigration-Springdale

Information Systems

Little Rock Scripture Study

Office of the Bishop

Bishop Emeritus

Parish Social Ministry

Prison Ministry

Project Rachel

Propagation of Faith

Refugee Resettlement

Resource Library

Respect Life

Social Action

St. John Center

Stewardship and Development

Diocesan Tribunal

Westside Free Clinic

Vocations

Youth Ministry



About Us

Ad Limina Visit

Advent/Christmas

Arkansas Mass Times

Audio Library

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor

Bulletin Resources

Calendar of Events

Calix Society

Campus Ministries

Catholic Resources

Charismatic Liaisons

Cemeteries

Clergy Boards

Clergy and Seminarian Directory

Coat of Arms

College of Consultors

Confession Times

Day Care Centers

Deaneries

Deanery Officials

Diaconate Directory

Diocesan Boards

Diocesan Staff Directory

Directions to Our Offices

Disaster Response

Donate

Employment Opportunities

Emergency Assistance

Eucharistic Adoration

Engaged Couples Ask

Facebook Page

Fast Facts

Former Bishops

Getting Married Guide

Hispanic Ministries

History

Hospitals and Health Centers

How to Become Catholic

House of Formation

Korean Ministry

Lent Resources

Legislative Watch

Marriage Preparation

Marriage and Family

Mass and March for Life

Minister to Priests

Minister for Religious

MOMMS Prayer Watch

Morris Hall Chapel

Natural Family Planning

News

Organizations

Open Your Hearts

Papal Transition

Parenting

Pastoral Letter 2008

Pastoral Planning Process

Pray With Us

Priesthood Q&A

Protect Religious Liberty

Public Associations

Prison Ministries

Religious Directory

Religious Order News

Retirement Centers

Retreat Centers

Report Abuse of Minors

Roman Missal Q&A

Sacramental Records

Safe Environment Resources

Schools By the Numbers

School of Spiritual Direction

Seminarians

Seminarian Fund

Senior Ministry

Special Collections

Social Services

Stations of the Cross

Submit a Calendar Event

Submit a Job Listing

Submit a Prayer Request

Theology Institute

Vietnamese Ministries

Virtus Training

Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome Home

Year of Faith

YouTube Channel



Diocesan Seminarians

Vocations Office

Vocational Talks and Columns

My spiritual family expanded in seminary

Letter from the Seminary

This series was written when seminarian Mauricio Carrasco was studying for the priesthood and chronicles the joys and struggles of his formation along the way. Today, Father Mauricio Carrasco is a priest serving the people of the Diocese of Little Rock.

By Mauricio Carrasco

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s off spring, heirs according to promise.” — Galatians 3: 27-29

CarrascoThis past October, on the feast of Luke the Evangelist, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter to all seminarians. In it, he said that “one does not become a priest on one’s own.” Pope Benedict then proceeded to talk about the importance of the seminary community.

I must say that the support and brotherhood that I have found in seminary have been invaluable. It did not take long for me to see the community at St. Meinrad Seminary as family. The pope’s words, however, have led me to reflect on the growing family that is continually supporting me on my journey to the priesthood.

Last year, as I was sitting in the Blessed Sacrament chapel, I felt that someone put his arm on my back. I quickly turned and saw Jerry, a parishioner of St. Raphael Church in Springdale. Jerry handed me a prayer for me to read and told me that this was the prayer he often said for me. The prayer asked the Lord to accompany me in times of discouragement, to bless my ministry and to continually make my heart like Christ’s. It is a beautiful prayer, and simply knowing that Jerry is praying for me is very encouraging and moving. Undoubtedly, his prayers have strengthened me many times, and they will shape me into the kind of priest I become.

In this sense, I must say that Jerry is very much a spiritual father to me; he is like family. Ken, another man I met in the adoration chapel, tells me he has been praying for me even before I answered the call. It does not cease to amaze me how many people think about me and pray for me. On my 26th birthday, I received a letter from a young man I know who is in prison.

He wanted to wish me a happy birthday. Often, I receive letters from the kids who are in our Catholic schools all over the state. They tell me they are praying for me in their classrooms. A family told me they pray for me before they have a meal together. The Carmelite sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, the Benedictines and many others have told me they are always praying for me and for my brother seminarians. Isn't it amazing?

I feel like my family is growing more and more. What is really awesome is that my family is very diverse. I have met people from all walks of life and from very different backgrounds who tell me they are looking forward to my ordination. This diversity is something that is very meaningful to me because I am the son of two cultures. I lived my childhood in Mexico, but I have lived a great part of my life here in the U.S. I have wondered, and people have often asked me, if I consider myself more Mexican or more American. I must answer that before being a Mexican or an American, I consider myself a Christian.

My vocation has been fostered by people of many different cultures. God willing, I will be a good father to them all. What brings my family together is not a single nationality, language or social identity. In the words of Father Udo Ogbuji, “it is the blood of Jesus Christ that makes us all one.” This summer, Alejandro Puello, Juan Manjarrez and I will be ordained to the diaconate. Say a prayer for us.

This article was originally published in Arkansas Catholic Feb. 19, 2011. Copyright Diocese of Little Rock. All rights reserved. This article may be copied or redistributed with acknowledgement and permission of the publisher.

Return to Vocational Talks and Columns