Our pastor, Fr. Sergio Mena, hails from the town of Mazatecochco, Mexico, located in Tlaxcala, the smallest state of Mexico, about a two hour drive southwest of Mexico City. His first assignment in the Chicago area was at St. Frances of Rome Church, here in Cicero. He attended elementary and high school in Mexico, and in 2006 he came to the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. Father Mena always thought he would get married and have a family, and at 18 years old, he was planning to build a house for his future family to live in. Then he went on a spiritual retreat and everything changed. “I was experiencing God in a very particular way,” he said. “It was God who touched my heart and called me to the priesthood. I did not know anything about priesthood or religious life.” His father objected at first, but then, when he saw his son was serious, supported him. He looks to the example of a priest offered by a Latin American bishop: “A priest should be a disciple missionary of Jesus the good shepherd. He should be a man of prayer, well integrated in his humanity, with a profound experience of God, with extraordinary love for the Church and therefore for his brothers and sisters.” He also looks to the example of Father Felipe Cuamatzi Cano, a Bible scholar and former rector of the seminary in his home diocese. “I learned a lot in his class but also in the way he was forming us,” Mena said. “He always taught us how to be a good shepherd of the people of God. For example, he was always with us playing, praying and working. His presence produced a profound impact on my formation. He was like Jesus with the Twelve.”