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Priestly Formation

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All seminarians are prepared for the priesthood following the four essential pillars of priestly formation, namely human, intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral, and, before being ordained priests of the Archdiocese of Boston, they spend three years in missionary formation. 

MEET OUR SEMINARIANS

Click on one the pictures below for more information

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Giovanni

Rev. Mr. Giovanni Argote

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Origin: Valledupar, Colombia

Year of Study: IV Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Revere

Small Blurb: I am the oldest of seven siblings, but I grew up full of resentment because of my father’s absence. This changed when I joined the Neocatechumenal Way because I discovered that God loved me unconditionally. When I experienced this love, it helped me re-build the relationship with my father, and brought me to consider the vocation to the priesthood. After a short period of discernment in Medellin, I was chosen to come to the seminary in Boston. I can truly say that along the way, God has always been faithful.

Rev. Mr. Gabriel Hanley

Origin: Framingham, Massachusetts

Year of Study: IV Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: The fourth of six children, I was raised in a Catholic family to a Dominican mother and an Irish

American father. By the end of High School, it was clear to me that God was calling me to the priesthood, but the difficulty was accepting the vocation. I first tried fulfilling my dream of studying art, but for some reason, the question of the vocation would not leave me alone. I decided to stop running and went to the Domus Galilee in Israel for a time

of discernment. This decision was pivotal because it was there that I was able to say yes to God's call. Providentially, I was sent to Boston, where God has given everything back

to me in a new way.

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Gabriel
Mateus

Mateus Martin

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Origin: Curitiba, Brazil

Year of Study: III Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: As the youngest of six children in a Catholic family, I grew up observing how my parents related; even when they had issues, they were always able to forgive each other. On Sundays, they would do Morning Prayer with us and teach us about the faith. As I grew older, I moved away from the Church, until at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro,

I was struck by the words of Pope Francis’ homily: “Sing to the Lord a new song” (Psalm 95:1). I asked myself: what is this new song? I understood it was not just about music, but that it referred to my life. This reflection gave me the desire to be with Christ, and to live a life of service by entering the seminary. 

Vincenzo

Vincezo Caruso

Origin: Naples, Italy

Year of Study: III Itinerancy

Local Parish: Saint Thomas Aquinas, Jamaica Plain

Small Blurb:  I am the youngest of four siblings, and I was born in Naples, Italy. Although I was baptized as a child, growing up I spent most of my life outside the Church. My dream was to become an electrical engineer and after graduating from high school, I entered the university to pursue my dream. In spite of seeing my dream becoming a reality, inside I felt empty and grew more and more dissatisfied with my life. It was at this point that God came looking for me through the Church and I joined the Neocatechumenal Way. God was waiting for me in my community and it was here that I felt that He was calling me to the priesthood. In many ways, I am still a work in progress but I am very grateful to my catechists for guiding me in this journey and helping me understand that the Lord does not call the qualified but qualifies those whom he calls.

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Alejandro

Diego Alejandro Pena

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Origin: Zipaquirá, Colombia

Year of Study: III Itinerancy (Finished III Theology)

Local Parish: Saint Patrick's Parish, Brockton

Small Blurb: I am from a small town in Colombia, and I am the second of three children. Reaching the end of High School, I was confronted with the question, what next? What am I going to do? Everything was so uncertain. On top of it all, I had a rocky relationship with my father. However, God did not abandon me. A missionary priest, together with a couple from the Neocatechumenal way, helped give me some direction. They helped me discover my father’s love for me, and God’s love for me as a father.

It was through them that I initially heard God’s call to the priesthood. I started to discern the vocation in Bogota and now continue my journey here in Boston. 

Javier

Javier Padilla

Origin: West Haven, Connecticut

Year of Study: II Itinerancy (Finished III Theology)

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: I am the first of six children, born to Mexican parents. I have played the clarinet since I was a child and, after High School, desired to pursue a career in music. However, there was a God-sized hole in my life. The Summer before my senior year I went to my first World Youth Day in Poland. It was there that I saw that I was living very superficially, brushing God off to the side. In Poland, however, I realized that God had not brushed me off to the side, and I decided to consider the vocation to the priesthood and was sent to Boston, where I still have many opportunities to play my clarinet. 

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Aaron

Aaron Sanz

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Origin: Bogota, New Jersey

Year of Study: I Itinerancy (Finished III Theology)

Local Parish: Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

Small Blurb: I am the second of eleven siblings. My family was always involved in our home parish, which allowed me to draw close to my pastor. The love he had for his ministry really left an impression on me. Growing up I dedicated much of time to my hobbies, especially music. I hoped that after High School I would be able to have a career in music composition, but it seemed that God had different plans for me. When I attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, my older brother and I both felt that we were being called to the priesthood. My brother eventually entered the seminary in Philadelphia, while I instead tried to run from the call. However, God was so persistent, that I finally decided to join the seminary as well.

Gustavo

Gustavo Neitzke

Origin: Campo Mourão, Brazil

Year of Study: I Itinerancy (Finished III Theology)

Local Parish: Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

Small Blurb: Growing up as the fourth of five children in a Catholic family, the image of the priest was always present in my life. Over the years I met many holy priests whom I admired.  At World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, I experienced the call to the priesthood in a way stronger than ever. The words from the gospel of Mathew, “Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of man,” gave me the push to follow this call. However, after three years in the seminary, I left formation. During the two years I spent back home, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. The dedication that the priests showed to her and my family up until her passing was a consolation that led me to reconsider my vocation and enter back into the seminary.

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Edward

Edward Rodriguez

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Origin: Houston, Texas

Year of Study: III Theology

Local Parish: Saint Rosa of Lima's Parish, Chelsea

Small Blurb: Of three siblings I am the oldest and the only boy. My parents are from Mexico and raised us in the Catholic faith. Thanks to the charism of the Neocatechumenal Way, I have been able to understand the faith more in-depth. During my time in college, I felt the calling to the priesthood, and the goals that I was slowly establishing for myself did not make me happy. Seeing my parents go to church and pray pushed me to take my faith more seriously. Also, I remember how I looked up to a priest from the Neocatechumenal Way; seeing how he related to people always struck me. His example and the help of my Catechists eventually opened me up to the call to the priesthood and the possibility of going to the seminary.

Ulises

Ulises Diaz

Origin: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Year of Study: I Itinerancy 

Local Parish: Saint Joseph's Parish, Lynn

Small Blurb: My sister and I were raised in a Protestant environment. What pushed me to join the Catholic Church was the moment when my teacher said that God can adopt someone as His son and that I could know Him through prayer.

After being baptized I joined the Neocatechumenal Way, started altar serving, and participated in the parish youth group. It was not until a youth vocational meeting, some years later, that I felt that God was calling me to something more and so I decided to join the seminary. After a short time discerning in Santo Domingo, I was brought here to the seminary in Boston. 

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Michael

Michael Castellon

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Origin: Chinandega, Nicaragua

Year of Study: II Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: As the fourth of seven children, and at a very young age, I was faced with the premature death of my mother. However, God did not abandon me. He prepared another woman to be my mother who not only took care of me, but most importantly, raised me and my siblings in the faith. She used to say that God has a plan for each person, but that the voice of God is not always easily heard. Nonetheless, inspired by my mother's faith, I decided to leave my studies, family, comfort, and start on the path to the priesthood. The time of the seminary has been a period of grace where I have discovered that, despite my weaknesses, I am loved and accepted just as I am.

Rafael

Rafael Milla

Origin: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Year of Study: II Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: I was born in Lima, Peru, but at the age of 11,

I moved with my family to Belen, New Mexico. When I was 2 years old, my father died from brain cancer. Although my family was in the Church, in my heart I grew resentful towards God for taking my father away. Growing up, I felt his absence and I sought to fill that void by wanting to be successful. Through school, I got a degree of Master of Architecture, and through the Neocatechumenal Way, I realized that, even though I had lost my father at a young age, God had never lost sight of me and was always present in my life. I got a glimpse of true happiness when out of gratitude to God for his kindness to me, I abandoned my dream of a successful career as an architect to enter the seminary in Boston.

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Gerson

Gerson Garcia

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Origin: Los Angeles, California

Year of Study: II Theology

Local Parish: Saint Rose of Lima's Parish, Chelsea

Small Blurb: I am the second of three siblings born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Although I grew up in a Catholic family attending Mass every Sunday, I felt that I did not know who God was in my life and he was never in my thoughts. I first heard the Lord to the priesthood while attending World Youth Day in 2016. However, my mind at the time was in weightlifting and on becoming a soccer player. As I resisted the call of the Lord, God allowed me to glimpse at life without him and I entered in a big crisis about the meaning of my life. During this time, my Neocatechumenal community played a pivotal role in helping me keep my ears open to the Word of God and I saw the tenderness of the Lord paving a way to help me rediscover him through an experience of true peace, the forgiveness of my sins and an even stronger call from God. Today I am happy the Lord gave me the grace to abandon my worthless projects and to have “chosen the better part” discerning my vocation.

Aron

Aaron Arbizo

Origin: Orange County, California

Year of Study: II Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: I am the fifth of ten children born to Mexican parents and raised in California. My parents brought us up in the faith, but as a teenager, I wanted my space and I rebelled against my parents. In spite of my rebellion, my parents kept us all in the Church and were keen to transmit the faith to me and my siblings. My rebellion continued in High School and I was at the point of not graduating. At the start of college, I was faced with a question that had been with me for a while except that I now needed an answer, what do I want to do with my life? During the summer, I did a missionary experience announcing the Gospel in the streets and the Lord was waiting for me in the streets! During this time, I heard Jesus telling me “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk”. Although I didn’t quite understand the meaning of those words, I realized that God had just given me an opportunity to follow him, discern my vocation and explore my vocation to the priesthood.

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Alexander

Alexander de Tirado

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Origin: Miami, Florida

Year of Study: I Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: I entered the seminary because, despite many experiences and various attempts at reaching happiness, I never really felt satisfied. At one point I realized that the only times when I was happy and at peace were when I trusted God. I believe that the seminary is this place where God guiding me and will show me what is his will for me.

Diego

Diego Mendoza

Origin: Denver, Colorado

Year of Study: I Theology

Local Parish: St. Mary of the Assumption, Lawrence

Small Blurb: I am the tenth of eleven children. Ever since I was young, I met some great priests and grew up looking up to them, in part because my family was very close to the Church and to some of them. I was always afraid of what people would think of me if they found out that I had the calling to the priesthood. However, after I went on a pilgrimage with the youth of my parish last summer, one of the readings from the Scripture encouraged me not to care about what others think of me, but to unite myself to Christ and to follow him, to let him deliver the happiness that I longed for certain that he would give me.  

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Luca Azzani

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Origin: Martinsburg, West Virginia

Year of Study: I Theology

Local Parish: St. Mary of the Assumption, Lawrence

Small Blurb: I am the second of five children. I felt the call to the priesthood for the first time when I was 13 years old. I was very young then, so I didn't do anything about it. God confirmed my calling in 2019 when I went to Panama for World Youth Day and, after returning from the pilgrimage, I began a discernment process at my diocese's Vocation Center. Today I am in the seminary, believing that God will clarify to me what this vocation is and how best to prepare myself for the priestly ministry.

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Henry

Henry Seuffert

Origin: Ridgewood, New Jersey

Year of Study: I Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Marlborough

Small Blurb: The reason I entered the seminary was a vocation to the priesthood that I discovered during my pilgrimage to Rome. Even though I felt the call, I was still very young and did not know what to do with it. Later, I received a Word from God that clearly told me to follow Him and gave me the courage to take the risk and begin my formation. What excites me about my calling is studying new topics that I had never heard of before the seminary.

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Luis Alberto

Luis Alberto Piceno

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Origin: Modesto, California

Year of Study: II Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Revere

Small Blurb:

I was born in Mexico, the third of five children, and I grew up in Modesto, CA. In 2008 while attending World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for what God had done with my life, I answered the call to the priesthood. The pursuit of my vocation has taken me, first to Toulon, in France where I studied philosophy and theology, and then to Switzerland and Israel, where I spent a couple of years as an itinerant missionary.

Entering the seminary in Boston in the middle of the pandemic was yet another memorial of how the Lord has always preceded and guided my vocation. I am a witness that the Lord makes all things new, that he has shown me mercy, especially in the reconciliation with my father, and I feel that my inheritance is to make known his love and tenderness everywhere through the announcement of the Gospel.

Christopher

Christopher N. Silebi

Origin: Waldwick, New Jersey

Year of Study: I Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Revere

Small Blurb: I’m the youngest of two children, born in New Jersey to parents who are both from Barranquilla, Colombia. Although my parents raised me in the faith, I felt that I did not have a good relationship with God. It turns out that I had pushed God out of my life as I became focused on doing my will. In 2017, when I joined the Neocatechumenal Way, something began to change as I came to a deeper understanding of the faith.

In 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, I attended a convivence (retreat) where I felt a connection with God, an invitation to let him guide my life, and there I stood up for the priesthood. Although I was initially scared and hesitant to pursue this vocation, during a pilgrimage to Gettysburg, PA in the summer of 2021, I felt this same call from God and this time I felt the courage to pursue and defend my need to discern the vocation to the priesthood.

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Christian

Christian Ortez

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Origin: Revere, Massachusetts

Year of Study: II Pre-Theology

Local Parish: Immaculate Conception, Revere

Small Blurb:

I grew up in Boston, the oldest of four children born to Salvadorian parents. After studying
business at Suffolk University, I worked in finance, first in Greenwich, CT, and then in New York City.

Chasing money, I moved every year from job to job and from apartment to apartment.
I also traveled extensively, discovering the world – and looking for life. Making money gave me a fleeing sense of success, but it also showed me that chasing imaginary currency could not bring me happiness. Meeting the priests of the Neocatechumenal Way seriously made me consider the priesthood and God used the 2011 World Youth Day pilgrimage to Madrid to sow the seed of the priesthood in my heart.

Eleven years later, after much discerning and an extraordinary pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I heard God calling again – and this time I was ready to go wherever he led me.

When I attended the convivence in Porto San Giorgio, Italy, I could have been sent anywhere in the world; God, however, having made me see the world first, thought
well to send me back home to where the Red Sox play and where my vocation was born!

Isaac

Isaac Velazquez

Origin: Chicago

Year of Study: II Pre-Theology

Local Parish: St. Patrick's Parish, Brockton

Small Blurb: I was born in Chicago to Mexican parents, the third of nine children. Growing up in the Neocatechumenal Way helped me to discover the Church through my community and made me receptive to the vocation to the priesthood.

I stood up for the seminary the first time in 2015,
when I was still very young, in a pilgrimage to Philadelphia, attending the World Meeting of Families. I spent most of my teenage years discerning my vocation until I understood that what is most important is to discover God’s will and to embrace his plan for my life.

The pilgrimage to Israel in 2022 was a milestone in the history of my vocation and I am eager to see what God can
do with me now that I am in the seminary.

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Stefano

Rafael Stefano Rubio

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Origin: Miami

Year of Study: II Pre-Theology

Local Parish: St. Patrick's Parish, Brockton

Small Blurb:

I am the second of nine siblings, born in Virginia. In the summer of 2017, my parents were sent as a missionary family to Florida and then given a mission at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Miami.

Being a witness of the generosity of my parents and growing up close to the seminarians, I saw firsthand the life of the seminary as I helped my father with the multiple construction projects in the seminary.

The experience of going on pilgrimage to Panama, to Gettysburg, PA, and then to Jerusalem were fundamental to hear the call of the Lord in my life.

One word that particularly enlightened me in the pursuit of my vocation was the parable of the talents, “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” These words helped to see that I can have it all, if I only desire God and that God is enough!

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Giovanni Trimboli

Origin: Riverside, California

Year of Study: I Pre-Theology

Local Parish: Saint Joseph's Parish, Lynn

Small Blurb: I am the third oldest of eight siblings, born and raised in California. I grew up in a catholic family and from my parent's hard work, I attended catholic school up to my freshman year.
Growing up, I knew about God and that he was with my family and me, but I had no real relationship with him.

I focused on doing my own will and found myself searching for a sense of fulfillment and happiness in the world, but I did not find it. I was not internally happy and felt empty. Fortunately, I went on a pilgrimage to the World Youth Day in Portugal through the Neocatechumenal Way. During this pilgrimage, I heard a word that only through Christ will you receive eternal joy. This made me want to surrender my will and follow Him. I felt this calling to serve God, which led me to join the seminary.

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Luca Contini

Luca Contini

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Origin: Silver Spring, Maryland

Year of Study: I Pre-Theology

Local Parish: Our Lady of Assumption, East Boston

Small Blurb: I am the seventh of eight children. I was born to an Italian father and a Nicaraguan mother.

I felt the call for the seminary during a pilgrimage.
Throughout my life, I have been searching for happiness and looking for life. However, nothing ever filled the void and the emptiness within me. It was during the pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Portugal that I understood that only God could do this for me: only God could give me true life, with meaning and happiness, and that God truly wants to do this for me. He desires my happiness and cares for me and wants to give me the greatest life there is.

Miguel

Miguel Angel de Loera

Origin: Orange County, California

Year of Study: I Pre-Theology

Local Parish: Saint Joseph's Parish, Lynn

Small Blurb: I am the ninth of ten siblings. I grew up in a catholic family thanks to my parents being in the Neocatechumenal Way so I would go to church every week and pray every Sunday. By my senior year of High School I didn’t know what to do with my life so I just went straight to work just to make money because I thought having money was going to make me happy. I chased money so much that I was working two jobs at some point with the intent of making money.

Despite having money I still felt unhappy inside and I didn’t know what to do. I went on a pilgrimage to Portugal feeling unhappy and was seeking an answer. I was blessed to go to the pilgrimage with a newly ordained Priest Fr. Bernardo and I saw how happy he looked and I desire that happiness so, I stood up for the Seminary. I came to the seminary to seek that happiness and to discern my vocation.

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Matthew

Matthew Toni

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Origin: North Miami, Florida

Year of Study: I Pre-Theology

Local Parish: Our Lady of Assumption, East Boston

Small Blurb: I am the first of three children, born and raised in Miami, Florida. My mother and grandmother initially transmitted the faith to me and my younger siblings. My mother would always be sure to tell us that in everything that we do we put God at the center of it all. Every Sunday we would attend the masses, and eventually, it turned into just a ritual that we did as a family, also never had a relationship with God only knew of him from what I was told. Years went by and at one point I was in a state of darkness where I felt my life had no meaning. I would seek the world looking for affections from others whether it was through sports or just by trying to be the friendliest guy but none of that worked. I felt like I was the dead bones mentioned in scripture. It was at this point that God came looking for me through the Church and I joined the Neocatechumenal Way in the Fall of 2021.
Throughout my time, I learned to believe in the unconditional
love that God had for me, from memorial to memorial, it
continued to grow. Eventually, because of the gratitude that I
had for what he has done for me in my life it led me to consider the priesthood, being open to God’s will, willing to go anywhere. In many ways, I am still a work in progress but I am very grateful to my community and my family for guiding me on this journey and helping me understand that God does not call the qualified but qualifies those whom he calls. and by the grace of God it brought me to Boston.

THE FACULTY

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Very Rev. Antonio F. Medeiros

Rector

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Rev. Łukasz Wiśniewski

Vice Rector

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Rev. Francesco Palombi

Spiritual Director