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Ordination 2022: Meet Uriel Santos Garcia

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My name is Uriel Santos. I was born in Mexico, but I am proud to serve the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I was born into a Catholic family with a brother and a sister, and I began my catechesis when I was four years old. My first catechist was my dear grandmother, and she was a significant influence on my spiritual life. She encouraged me to embrace the Catholic faith and serve Her as an acolyte in my childhood. I served as an acolyte for eight years, and I began to hear the calling to the priesthood. I keep my home parish of Santiago Apostol very close to my heart although it is very far from Cincinnati. My mother lives in Middletown, and it was by way of her that I felt a second calling, to serve the Latino population in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as a sacred minister.

I was blessed to have an exceptional mentor named Mariano Cortes when I began to serve Mass. He was the leader of the acolyte ministry at Santiago Apostol, and he taught me proper liturgy and prayers. Even today, he remains an influence in my life. He is steadfast in praying before the Blessed Sacrament, and he offers a holy hour once a week just for my vocation.

I am looking forward to administering the sacraments of healing, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation and sacrament of anointing of the sick. I feel a special calling to minister to the infirm because I have endured my own illness. In this way, I also see my sickness as a blessing and gift from God. It’s an example of how God brings good out of suffering.

Among my favorites are the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Way of the Cross. When I pray these prayers, I meditate on Jesus’ suffering, and I ask for mercy. Everyone needs mercy; we can feel God’s love through these beautiful meditations. The Way of the Cross is a parallel for Christians as they progress through their lives. We, too, carry our crosses, and the goal is resurrection and eternal life with God.

I enjoy cooking, especially carne asada. I like to gather with my family here in Cincinnati when I have free time. If I have an extended vacation, I make plans to go home to Mexico to visit my father and my sister.

 I am very happy that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati me allowed the opportunity to learn Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and supported my acquisition of English along the way. I give thanks to God for sustaining me through times of struggle, adjusting to a new language and culture, and coping with an autoimmune disease. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with new parishioners, especially the message of God’s mercy and unending love.

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