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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Led by You
Vocational Testimony of Fr. Dagoberto Gómez Ordáz, LC

Testimonio vocacional del P. Dagoberto Gómez Ordáz L.C.
Fr. Dagoberto Gómez Ordáz L.C.
Lord, even before I was created, you had already chosen me. From my earliest childhood you had already left a clear mark of your choice, and in my early youth you chose to make yourself present to stay with me always. You chose me from a young age. I don’t ask you why, Lord; I just want to thank you for your call, and for the love you wanted to show me from my childhood onward. Thank you, Lord.

Telling my vocation story is impossible for me without first talking about the One who chose me. That’s why I wanted to start with a little prayer, and in this way make it possible to understand the madness of a “yes” that, for many people today, seems almost heroic. I do not consider the gift of the priesthood to be due to my merit at all; rather, it is due to the inexplicable love of God who chose me, who loved me, and who has taken care of me in the midst of an endless array of obstacles and personal limitations.

A Restless Kid
Christ came into my life from my earliest childhood. This doesn’t mean that me made me a special boy, different from the others; on the contrary, he made me very much like all of my companions. I was very active and restless, and at the age of seven I already had three head injuries, a split lip, and countless reports at school. Studying was my big sacrifice; it was impossible for me to remain seated for more than five minutes with a book, and I was an expert at doing my homework while the teacher was coming into the classroom.

As a boy, my relationship with God was simple and close; I prayed with my parents before going
Testimonio vocacional del P. Dagoberto Gómez Ordáz L.C.
to sleep, we went to Mass as a family, and from time to time we prayed the rosary… In short, I considered myself a good Christian. Nevertheless, adolescence began to have its effects, and my moments of prayer were reduced to the indispensable minimum. My family was going through a hard time with finances, which meant that on Sundays everyone went to Mass on his own, since we had a grocery store that we had to take care of. This gave me many opportunities to avoid Mass. It looked like I was going to Mass, because I left the house on time, but when I got to the church I took a slight detour to the video arcades to enjoy my hour there while my parents thought I was fervently at Mass.

My family was very united and we supported each other very much, which made for a positive atmosphere to grow up in. I didn’t have many pressing needs aside from my difficulties with studying. I was very friendly, loved parties, and had no trouble making new friends. In the last year of my high school, I was named treasurer to organize the graduation party of my group; in short… everything seemed normal, but God had already put in me that voice, that call to be one of his own.

The Beginning of the Call
The vocation, as I was saying, started at a very young age. Sometimes the call was stronger and sometimes it was weaker, but it was there. God was waiting for the right moment. When I was in 6th grade, various priests came to my school to talk about their vocation and to invite us to the minor seminary to do our high school studies there. In all the questionnaires that they passed around, I marked down my interest in being a priest. In all of these responses, God was present, since I was never fully aware of what I was really putting down. I did know what it meant to be a priest, but I never thought about everything it would imply. God did, though. A priest invited me to the minor seminary of Pátzcuaro, but at that time I wasn’t interested and I didn’t show up. Afterwards, the invitations stopped and I started high school. Sports and fun took a more central role in my day to day life.

In this atmosphere, God was preparing my soul for the moment he had always had in mind. The fact that I was a pretty restless and sporty kid saved me from some negative elements that crept in among some of my friends. While I was the first to run out of the classroom with my basketball, some of my friends stayed there looking at magazines and talking about things. My weekends were always active. I was never without something to do. Both on Saturday and Sunday, I got up at 7 in the morning to go play basketball or to train at cycling until midday. Then I came home, helped a bit in my family’s shop, and then went out with a youth group from my school or with the boy scouts.

A Light in Adoration
In this way, Christ was preparing my soul for the decisive push. In my junior year of high school, God came on more strongly, always using my likes and inclinations. My parish had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for several hours in the afternoons. My mother invited me to go to pray and come a bit closer to God, but because of the grocery store we had to take turns. So, while she went to the grocery store, I agreed with a neighboring friend to go make a very swift visit to the church, and then afterwards we went to play the little soccer games that were set up in front of the parish (without my mother knowing, of course). On one of those Thursdays, it happened that when I arrived, I saw that the priest was exposing the Blessed Sacrament. When I saw him, a light or an idea came to me and I thought: “How great it is to be able to expose Our Lord so that the faithful can pray to him…!”

It was nothing special, just that idea and nothing more… I ended the visit at the church, quick as always, and went to the soccer games. But the call and the desire to be a priest began to grow again in my interior. Halfway through the year, I received an invitation to spend Holy Week in the diocesan seminary of Morelia. Prepared as I was, and with a more clear conscience, I accepted to go. It was a week in which my option for Christ matured, and it was a preparation for what would come a few weeks later. I came out of that week convinced that I should enter the seminary that summer. There were many things that attracted me: the priesthood and especially many soccer fields and basketball courts…

I Want to Be a Priest
I got home and told my parents without too many complications that I wanted to go to the seminary that summer. Their response at that moment (and always) was positive, and they offered me their unconditional support. One Saturday, my mom came to the kitchen after having gone out for a walk in the park and told me, “Son, wouldn’t you like to get to know the seminary of the Legionaries of Christ in Mexico City as well?” She told me this because that morning she had spoken with a cousin of hers who had proposed the idea to her.

I was already almost decided to enter the Morelia seminary and I didn’t pay too much attention to her proposal. However, my sisters were very much in agreement with her idea since they had already participated in some Regnum Christi activities. And at the same time, I had always wanted to go to Mexico City, having never been there. In this way, through my mother’s suggestion, God gave me his last push to show me the way he had prepared for me.

It didn’t all end there, because during these past 16 years of preparation for the priesthood, God has always been there, guiding, pushing, showing me the way, both in light and in dark moments. The adventure, the mission of every priest is beautiful above all because of Him who calls, Him whom we follow… He is everything and deserves everything. Thank you, Lord, for your choice, for your call, and allow me one day to rejoice in you for all eternity as a Legionary priest. THANK YOU!

Father Dagoberto Gómez Ordaz was born on July 1, 1976 in Zacapu, Michoacán. He is the youngest of three children. He entered the apostolic school of the Legion of Christ in Ajusco (Mexico City) on July 4, 1991, did his novitiate in Monterrey (Mexico), and completed his humanities studies in Salamanca, Spain. In 1997 he went to Rome to study two years of philosophy. From 1999 to 2002 he worked apostolically in the city of León (Mexico) in the youth clubs of Regnum Christi. In 2002, he returned to Rome to study for his licentiate in philosophy and to get his bachelor’s degree in theology at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum. He currently works apostolically in León (Mexico) with youth groups of Regnum Christi.



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