May 26 – The Holy Trinity

It is with great sadness, that I must say my goodbye to Our Lady of Mercy. I have been at OLM for two years, and this experience has been beautiful. I shared my sentiments at some of the Masses last week, but not fully at all of them. This was because during the first two times I said goodbye at Mass I was extremely emotional. I could hardly say anything at the 4pm Mass on Saturday.

What I truly wanted to share was that when I first came to the parish I had completed four years of college seminary. I completed these first four years in Minnesota at St. John Vianney Seminary. I am extremely grateful for this time because I grew tremendously. However, absent from the experience in Minnesota was a connection to the diocese that I was studying for and preparing myself to serve. During my time of discernment, one of the things that filled my heart as I considered the priesthood was my desire for parish life. Thus, leaving the parish to study for four years in Minnesota was extremely tough for me! Although it was, in my opinion, a necessary step for me. Many of you may have heard the phrase, “healed people heal people”. When I entered seminary, I didn’t think that the Lord needed to do any healing in my life. However, during my time there The Lord pointed out places where he invited me to experience greater joy, peace, and love, even if I didn’t realize it at first because I was not bleeding out or suffering excruciatingly. In many ways, he used my time in Minnesota to prepare me to be sent out into parish life.

Thus, getting the opportunity to serve you at the parish and share in your times of joy, suffering, and grief has been a privilege. Know that during my time here you have been loved, and know that during my time here I have felt loved. I will keep you in my prayers, especially during the upcoming summer program that I am doing in Mexico City. If the Lord allows it and if you are able, it would be a wonderful thing to see you all at my deaconate and priesthood ordinations.

Please keep me in your prayers and don’t be a stranger if you ever see me around!

Jonathan Hernandez