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Someone Who Never Dies
INTERNATIONAL | WHO WE ARE | TESTIMONIES
Father Andrés García Gutiérrez, LC (Mexico)

P. Andrés García Gutiérrez , L.C.
Fr. Andrés García Gutiérrez , LC

I thank God for the family he gave me. Both my dad and my mom come from families where Christian values are esteemed. They have also made an effort to transmit those values to us through their words and advice, but especially through their testimony of life. I have always seen the great love they have had for each other, their respect, joy, and generosity in giving us the best.

A Christian family

My dad is a thoughtful person. He speaks a little and does a lot. He is quite enterprising, always doing new things. I remember that on Saturdays he would bring us on hikes in the mountains, or to some park to play soccer, or to visit some small town. He supported us in all our initiatives. He made us value everything we had. He set goals and objectives so that with our own efforts we would obtain the things we asked for. For example, if we asked him for a bicycle, he said we should make an effort to get a 90% average in our studies. He helped us form a spirit of responsibility in our work. One time he bought a small plot of land. Among ourselves we began building a small house, although we didn’t have a clue about bricklaying. My dad bought some books, read them, and taught us how to make the mixture and how to lay the bricks. He entrusted a small part of the yard to each one that we had to take care of. This is just to give you an idea of what he taught us and how he helped to form our will and to be responsible. 

My mom is very cheerful. I have never seen her with a sad face. She never complains about anything, and she lives the faith in depth. She dedicated herself full-time to our formation. While she would do the laundry, she would sit us down beside her and teach us catechism. She taught us to speak with God naturally. Every night she gave us a blessing and suggested to us to go to sleep speaking with our guardian angels.

I am the fifth of seven children. The oldest is my sister Bibiana, who is now married and has two children. Carolina follows her. She also is married and has two children. Next comes Father Alberto, a priest of the Legionary of Christ. Then, Father Jesús, a diocesan priest. I am next. Then the two smallest: Francisco is a chemical engineer and just got married, and the youngest is Juan Pablo, who has a licentiate in company administration. We have been a very united family, with our own problems and adventures like so many other families. Countless pranks and fights were not lacking, but always in a very healthy environment.

The “demons” of St. Sophia

Three events roused in me the desire to be a priest. The first, without a doubt, was the testimony of my family. Our parents instilled in us a profound respect for
P. Andrés García Gutiérrez , L.C.
all people, but especially for priests. The second event was the grace to belong to a group of acolytes along with Alberto and Jesús. In reality I was an acolyte because Father Adolfo Barajas, our pastor, had organized a soccer team with the acolytes of the parish. We were called “the demons of St. Sophia.” My brother Alberto and I weren’t acolytes for very long, since one time we pulled a prank by launching a firecracker into the pastor’s office. I remember well the fervor with which Father Adolfo celebrated the Eucharist. For me, a seven-year-old, it was like seeing a man from another planet. More than once I said to myself, “When I grow up, I want to be like him.”

The third event, which left the deepest mark, was the death of my grandfather. What struck me most was seeing my grandmother so sad, since I had previously always seen her with a smile. At one moment we all started to pray, and I remember what I asked for from the child Jesus, “Grant me the grace never to die. If I ever get married, let it be with someone who will never die.” It was the prayer of a child, but after a few years I realized that God had heard my prayer…

The call

Years passed. I studied in the Tlaquepaque Institute, run by a few Franciscan nuns, to whom I give thanks for all the formation they gave me. When I was beginning middle school, Father Enrique Flores visited my school. He was a priest of the Legionaries of Christ. The way he introduced himself, the respect he treated us with, and his great joy captivated me, as well as my brother Jesús, who had always had the desire to be a priest. So Father Enrique invited my brother Jesús to visit the apostolic school. Later my brother invited me since he didn’t want to go alone. I saw that as an opportunity to go on vacation, but when my mom found out about my attitude she made me see that it was something serious, and that if I was going to the apostolic school it was to see what God wanted of me.

So I visited the apostolic school of the Legion of Christ, in León, Guanajuato. I had never seen anything like it. It was an environment where charity reigned, along with kindness, order, and discipline. For me it was almost like heaven. I decided to enter the apostolic school without knowing clearly if God was really calling me. The decision to be a priest gradually matured. A year later I made the decision to follow Christ, if that was his will. I was thirteen. It wasn’t an easy decision, but by God’s grace I said yes.

Now I know that from all eternity he had already consecrated me. I didn’t choose my path; he is the one who chose it. He placed me in a Christian family so that I would find him. He showed me his plan, and has taken care of me until this very moment, and not only me, but also my brothers Jesús and Alberto, who since August 17 have shared with me the invaluable gift of the priesthood.

Father Andrés García Gutiérrez was born on September 20, 1978. He entered the apostolic school of the Legionaries of Christ in 1991 in León (Mexico). He entered the novitiate and studied humanities in the College of Humanities and Sciences in Salamanca (Spain). He collaborated in youth ministry and in vocation promotion in Spain. He completed his studies of philosophy and theology in Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College in Rome. He was a member of the formators team in the apostolic school of Ontaneda in Santander (Spain). He was ordained a priest on August 17, 2008 along with his two brothers, Jesús and Alberto, in the Cathedral of Guadalajara, by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez. He is currently the spiritual assessor and formator in the apostolic school of the Legionaries of Christ in Guadalajara (Mexico).

 

Translation of the vocation story published in the book "Vivir para Cristo"


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-12-20


 
 


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