Father Ismael Garcia Sainz, 27
First assignment: St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook Parish, Northbrook
Born in: Evanston
Education: Escuela Primaria Constitucion de 1917; Escuela Secundaria Jose Ruben Romero; Seminiario Diocesano de Morelia, Tomas de Aquino; Saint Joseph College Seminary/ Loyola University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary
Parents: Fabiola Sainz Escobar and Ismael Garcia Morales
First Mass: June 30, 6 p.m., Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Father Ismael Garcia Sainz was born in Evanston and raised in Mexico.
“If I have to choose a point in my life to start talking about my vocation, it would be at my first Communion,” he said. “I remember the priest telling me, ‘Do not let this day be the first and last time you receive Christ,’ and as I received Christ for the first time, I felt a fire inside me, like the sensation you get after getting on a roller coaster. I wanted to know more about him, the one I received. My mother got me involved as an altar sever, and I noticed that the Mass was not boring anymore. I had to be awake and ready to serve at the altar. I started to enjoy Mass and paid more attention.”
He was invited to a retreat at a seminary when he was 15. “I was excited for the invitation, but I did not know what a seminary was. He explained to me, and then my excitement turned into shock. I was shocked and surprised that a place like that existed,” he said. “I guess I never thought priest are normal human beings. I was also shocked that an ordinary guy like me could be called to serve the people of God as a priest.”
He started seminary in Morelia, Mexico, and then came to Chicago, starting at Casa Jesus and then attending St. Joseph College seminary.
“I was captivated by the different people attending Mass,” Garcia said. “I was able to see the universality of the church, people from all over the world sharing the same faith. I am fascinated by the different expressions of faith in the different cultures, the richness in their traditions and joy in their faith.”
Article taken from: The Chicago Catholic