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Thank You, Lord
INTERNATIONAL | WHO WE ARE | TESTIMONIES
Vocational Testimony of Fr. Daniel Preciado, LC

Testimonio vocacional del P. Daniel Preciado L.C.
Fr. Daniel Preciado L.C.
I am fulfilling my lifelong dream—but above all, it is the dream of God, who thought of me as a priest from all eternity. I entered the Legion of Christ in the summer of 1994. I can sum up these almost 14 years in one phrase: Thank you. It is a thank you to God, because he was the one who took the initiative. He was the one who invited me to leave everything to start out on my life’s adventure: to be a Legionary of Christ priest.

Finding My Path of Happiness
I got to know the Legionaries through my cousins, who were studying in the Cumbres Institute and in the Rosedal School. I liked hearing about them because of the way they formed the youth. One Sunday, I asked my cousin to make an appointment for me with the chaplain of her school. It wasn’t necessary. The next day, two Legionaries of Christ appeared on the patio of my school. At first, I didn’t want to talk to them, but later on in the afternoon, I called them on the phone (after a big interior battle). I didn’t call them because I wanted to be a priest, but because I wanted them to give me some ideas for the Marian youth congregations I belonged to.

I ended up talking to the vocational promoter—I don’t remember about what. We saw each other frequently and he invited me to come see the novitiate. It was a marvelous place, and I was struck by all the young men walking around in their black cassocks, so joyful and athletic. There was even one who played electric guitar. In March, I went on a retreat with some friends. When I told one of them that I wanted to be a priest but
Testimonio vocacional del P. Daniel Preciado L.C.
that I was afraid, he answered, “If God calls you, he will give you the grace.” He didn’t give it much importance; he just turned over and went back to sleep. But I spent the rest of the night thinking about that sentence.

Then came the best part: it was time to tell my parents. My mom had already figured it out and supported me from the start, although it was hard for her. I didn’t know how to tell my dad, since I am his only son. When I told him the situation, he answered, “If that’s going to make you happy then go. What’s the use of me having 100 grandchildren but one unhappy son?”

To Germany, Spain, and the United States
I left Mexico City and headed toward Tototlán, Jalisco, where the summer candidacy was held. There everything started, and I can’t thank God enough. His ways are so interesting. As for the ideas I wanted for the Marian congregations, I didn’t remember those until 2 weeks after having received the cassock. Thank you, Lord, because your ways are not our ways.

I received my uniform in September of 1994 in the Monterrey novitiate. After the 50th anniversary celebrations of our founder Nuestro Padre’s priestly ordination, which was in November of that same year, I was asked to continue my novitiate in Germany. That was a big change. Thank you again for those two unforgettable years between the white snow and the green summer. There, in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed, I had the chance to get to know Christ and to have a deep experience of God. Thank you, Lord, because whatever difficulties I faced with the radical change of culture and climate, I always found a true Legionary family that supported me from the first instants.

Our Lord knows how to prepare the way. Nothing happens by chance. On the day of my first profession, I experienced the presence of God in such a way that he told me: “Only I; everything else passes.” This light accompanies me even today.

I continued my first steps in religious life in Salamanca, studying classical humanities for two years. Thank you, Lord! Then came a new adventure: the foundation of the Center for Higher Studies in New York. Once again, a new culture and way of thinking, but I found the same Legionary family: now I knew it more deeply. We had a great challenge in front of us: to create the right atmosphere of piety, charity, and study of a center for higher studies. We didn’t have older brothers that we could imitate. We were all starting our first year of philosophy. We only had the Constitutions of the Legion and our superiors. I spent two marvelous years getting to know the Legion more, getting to know Christ better, and above all, making him grow more in my soul.

Passing on the Gift to Others
When the time for apostolic internships came around, I was ready to go. I was excited to be in more contact with people, to give my life for Christ, to convert crowds, to bring young people like me to God. My first place for apostolic work was in the Irish Institute, a school in Mexico City. My mission was to bring these young men to God, but it turned out that they led me to him! Their creativity, their joy, their trust and openness of soul helped me to discover that everyone has a great thirst for God. It was also a time to grow I the virtues I had been acquiring. I say “thank you” to God once again: he led me in such a way, showing me that the virtue of faith has to be my source for all the day’s activities.

Two years later, I was sent to be a member of the formators’ team in the apostolic school of Ajusco in Mexico City. That was a watershed experience in my Legionary life. Now it was not just a matter of forming myself and preparing to be a priest, but of forming the image of Christ in the young students of the apostolic school who were just beginning the adventure of following Christ. I am convinced that God knows perfectly well what he does. I couldn’t preach something that I wasn’t living; it would be a farce. That was the way God was perfecting me in my formation. Now I had to pass on what I had received.

I knew I was a cofounder, but it was there that I felt it most deeply. The young men in my charge would be the Legionaries of the future. It was a grave responsibility, and it obliged me to pass on in an integral way the charism that our founder Nuestro Padre had given us. Thank you, once again.

Living Alongside Spiritual Giants
During the previous years, God allowed me to live very closely with the first Legionaries. I listened to their stories of the foundation, and above all, the way that Nuestro Padre formed them. But the most important thing is that I lived with them, I saw them, and I dealt with them, receiving every day the testimony of what is now written history. They received it directly from Nuestro Padre. Now I was in the same apostolic school that had been founded in 1941. I could only thank God.

God didn’t stop shedding his graces there. After my year as a formator in the apostolic school, I went to the General Directorate of the Legion of Christ in Rome. There, I was very edified by the example of our founder. I loved to see him pray; you could feel that he was talking to God. He is a man with his feet on earth and his heart in heaven.

Before going to work on missions in Quintana Roo, I spent three years in Rome. Many experiences there marked my life. I don’t doubt that God permitted those things. First God, then God, and finally, God. He is the only one who never fails; he guides and forges the priest he loves. My eternal gratitude goes to all my formators, but especially to Father Francisco Mateos for guiding and forming me with great prudence, wisdom, and patience.

For All of These Graces, Thank You
All of this story could not have happened if this son of Jorge and Cecilia had not been born on September 11, 1975. Thank you once again, Lord, for the parents you gave me, for my three sisters: Vero and Martha, both happily married, and my sister Rosario who also gave her life to God in Regnum Christi. Thank you for the opportunity to have known and learned from my four grandparents. From each one, I learned something about what I am. In My family taught me to live with God. He was a member of the family, and I am sure that the family stayed together because God was there. I remember how on various occasions, but especially at Christmas, my dad filled the truck with toys and we went to give them out to the poor kids living on the fringes of Mexico City. When we got older, we went to the General Hospital of Mexico to wish a Merry Christmas to all those we met. Thank you, because you put a great priest in my family’s life, Father Manuel, Loza, SJ, who always guided us, oriented us, and pushed me, above all through his example, to follow Christ as a priest.

A life story can’t be summed up in a few pages; so much has been left out. There are innumerable circumstances: friends, school, work, vacations, holy weeks, my experiences in every country where I have worked, the people who have surrounded me…

Nevertheless, thank you, because I have always had the certainty in the depths of my heart that God wanted me to be a priest.

Father Daniel Preciado Madero was born on September 11, 1975 in Mexico City. He entered the Legion of Christ on June 17, 1994. He made his first profession on September 7, 1996 in Germany. He completed his humanities studies in Salamanca, Spain, and afterwards went to the United States to start his studies in philosophy. He worked as an instructor of formation in the Irish Institute in Mexico City and as a formator in the apostolic school of Ajusco, in Mexico City. Later, he was moved to Rome to study philosophy and theology. On June 13, 2007, he was ordained a deacon at Anáhuac University on the México Norte campus. He is currently working in the mission territory of Cancún-Chetumal.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-01-04


 
 


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