How did you get involved in music ministry?
I started with music when I was really young. I always understood that I had nothing to do with it — it was a gift that came from the Lord, and I should give it to the Lord. I’m a cradle Catholic, and when I was 13 I started in a choir for the Charismatic Renewal — it was more like a Catholic band, and we did music for the prayer services. When I was 16, I was confirmed and I entered into a liturgical choir, and I’ve been in choirs ever since. The Lord has called me to do that.
You had the opportunity to go into music professionally but chose to study accounting at the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez. Why that career path?
When I was going to decide my career, I either wanted to go to the conservatory or to be an accountant — I always liked both, and I’ve always been inclined to technological, financial areas. My father set a really good example. He was a postal worker but he had studied as an electrician. In his free time, my father used to help people with electrical installations. There were also a few churches that my father basically financed and did all the work for the electrical installations. He showed me the way. He said, “Whatever you do, your purpose in life is to serve everyone else.”
Has your faith always been a big part of your life?
Always, always. Both my parents met at a church group, as members of Catholic Action Youth Group in Mexico. Since I was born, I’ve been either helping my mom in catechism or helping my father in chores at the church. I started in a youth group at 13 and I was in Charismatic groups in Mexico for years. When Gabriela and I got married, I began in couples ministry too. All along, I was writing music and coordinating choirs.
How did you come to find Our Lady Queen of Peace?
We moved to Milwaukee in 2014 for my job, and I originally found a bilingual Mass at St. Francis of Assisi. Since I live in Brookfield, we were looking for something during the week, too, and found St. Joseph in Waukesha. I began to do the music for bilingual Adoration and Mass during the week there, when Fr. Javier Bustos was at that parish. Then Fr. Bustos was transferred to Our Lady Queen of Peace, to help develop the Hispanic Ministry at that parish. He said, “I need you to be a fellow missionary with me.” The ministry at that parish has flourished very beautifully. The Lord has blessed us with a lot of conversions and people seeking God and finding God.
What does music ministry mean to you?
We try to lead the faith through music. It’s a more profound way of looking at our service. This is for the Lord, and our life has to be according to what we’ve seen, so I think it’s really important to form choir members. We base everything on prayer. We reflect on the readings for the day in our choir rehearsals. When you sing, you have to feel you’re singing to the Lord. Your music has to be a prayer.
You’re an aspirant for the permanent diaconate formation program now. What is that like?
Part of it is to let go and to start preparing for whatever the Lord wants me to do. It’s exciting to see what the Lord has in store and where He needs me now. My prayer always is, how can I serve you better, and where do you need me to be?