One morning in April of 1988, I decided to go
to school dressed in an original way to impress my
friends. I was in 6th grade. When I came across
the school courtyard in my brown pants and brown sweater,
with black shoes and my hair combed back with plenty
of gel, one of my friends saw me and called
out, “Hey, the monk is here!” I didn’t know what
to say. I froze – and then took off the
sweater to avoid more joking comments. But the voices of
my other friends were soon heard: “Now he is the
little priest!” This was the first time that the idea
of becoming a missionary priest entered my mind.
|Fr. Raymundo Gómez L.C.|
next day, a Franciscan priest came to our school to
talk about the missions, the Pope, and the missionaries. I
was very impressed. The next week, a Legionary of Christ
named Father Leopoldo Cuchillo came to my class to give
us a talk, which I liked. Both lifestyles attracted me,
but I stayed more in touch with Father Leopoldo. That
was how I entered the Legionary apostolic school of Ajusco
in Mexico City.
A Taxi Driver, a Teacher, or a Doctor
that the Lord puts on my path, and serving as
a doctor for souls who need God.
I was born in a Catholic family in the city
of Querétaro on April 12, 1977. When I was a
boy, I wanted to be a boxer, since a friend
who was a boxer would invite us sometimes to see
him fight. Another of my dreams was to be a
taxi driver, a teacher, or a doctor, because I always
wanted to do good and help others. Later on, God
showed me the way and now I drive the highways
to go to various youth clubs in the north of
Mexico City, teaching the way of God to the souls
I remember that my
parents always gave us an example of hard work, affectionate
love, and piety. We prayed every day when we got
up and before we ate, and we went to Mass
on Sundays. We gave alms and they taught us to
thank God for the gift of health when we saw
a sick person.
We looked forward to weekends with special enthusiasm,
since they meant a new party in the house of
a friend, relative, or acquaintance. What I liked most were
the family reunions when I could play with my cousins.
We went out in the streets dressed up like boxers
and invented new pranks.
There was one event that marked
my life very much, and it was my first communion.
I received it from the hands of a Franciscan priest,
and it ignited in my heart the desire to follow
Stages in Legionary Life
In my third year at
the Legionary apostolic school of Ajusco, a group of us
new seminarians moved to the apostolic school of Moncada (Spain).
My horizons were opening up and my dream was becoming
a reality. In my heart, I still didn’t have the
certainty of wanting to be a priest. I just felt
happy getting to know new friends, studying in an atmosphere
of healthy joy and companionship, and I didn’t think too
much about the idea of becoming a priest. But this
step to Spain pulled the carpet out from under me,
as they say, and made me think a lot more
seriously about following Christ in the priesthood.
One of the best
days of my life was when I received the Legionary
cassock. I looked in the mirror and thought I was
dreaming; I was just so happy. I felt very unworthy
because of my littleness, but Christ’s words to St. Paul
echoed in my interior: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Two years later I made my temporary religious vows, an
important step in my life as a Legionary.
I was in
Rome for two years, and during that time I had
the joy of greeting Pope John Paul II twice. It
was the best, because I had never imagined I would
get to do that. Without a doubt, it was a
great gift from God.
Forming a Priestly Heart
Another period that
helped me to mature in my decision and strengthen my
vocation were my years of apostolic internships, where I was
able to form a priestly heart and see the world’s
great need for Christ. It was the best preparation for
me to make my total decision to follow Christ in
spite of the difficulties that would crop up later.
many souls on my path to whom I am extremely
grateful for their witness of self-giving to God, and above
all for their support, encouragement, and prayer. I feel them
as part of my life, since in one way or
another, God has linked them to my priesthood and has
used them as valuable guides in my vocation.
In my return
to Rome, I was motivated by my desire and enthusiasm
for preparing my heart for my priestly ordination. The study
of theology and the atmosphere of charity and maturity in
my community helped me to see every day, every hour,
every minute as a great opportunity to prepare myself to
climb the steps of the altar.
I thank God for the
gift of life, for the gift of my family, for
my two Legionary brothers, and for my priestly vocation. I
know that God is the one who guided my steps,
in spite of my being a poor and sinful man.
A priest is another Christ, and that is why I
am asking God to grant me the grace to reflect
with my life, my words, and my works the love
of God. May he grant me the grace to persevere
in his service until the last day of my life.
Raymundo Gómez was born in the city of Querétaro, Mexico,
on April 12, 1977. Two of his brothers are Legionaries
of Christ. He entered the Legion of Christ on July
21, 1988. In September of 1992 he was moved to
Salamanca to start his novitiate, where he also did his
studies in humanities. He studied philosophy and theology in the
Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome. He worked for two
and a half years as a spiritual guide in the
Cumbres Bosques School in Mexico City, and worked two years
in youth work and vocational work. He is currently working
in youth clubs in Monterrey, Mexico.