CARF Foundation

6 February, 24

Life testimonies

priest

"History shows us that God never leaves his people alone."

Luis Enrique Ortiz, from Guatemala, has been a priest for 25 years. He never ceases to give thanks for a vocation that he began to feel as a child and that was strengthened at the university. "You would make a good priest. was a phrase he often heard.

Currently, this Guatemalan priest is parish priest of El Señor de Esquipulas, as well as episcopal vicar of the Southeastern Vicariate of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala. Between 2005 and 2007 his bishop sent him to Rome to study Church History at the University of Rome. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross This helped him to better understand his faith and also to transmit it better to the thousands of faithful during these years. During his stay in Rome he lived in the Tiberino Priestly College, years in which he was able to soak and nourish himself with the universality of the Church. 

The seed of faith

In his childhood, Mr. Luis Enrique Ortiz received the seed of faith at home, in a family filled with the love of God. She learned from an early age that every blessing was a gift from God. Even in family trials, reluctance was never an option. She would always say to herself, "God is good."

Among her most vivid memories is her First Communion, the sacrament that changed her life. From the moment she learned of her enrollment in preparatory catechesis, the longing to receive Jesus in the Sacrament became her beacon. The day arrived and she felt something incomparable. Then she remembered the phrase of her family: "God is good".

The silent call to the priesthood

The call to the priesthood did not resound like a sudden thunderclap, but like a soft murmur that intensified over the years. The influence of the family was the first echo, where the love of God was lived daily. At the university, the seed germinated even more during volunteer work in marginalized regions of Guatemala. Wherever he went, people would tell him: "You would be a great priest"This was a statement that puzzled the young Luis Enrique. 

He was astonished every time he heard it, because it was a very intimate idea that he had not told anyone. However, he soon understood that it was God, using the voices of those around him, who was calling him to serve in his harvest. Sacramental life and feeling all the love of God led him to take the definitive step. Without regrets, he affirmed that God had been good, surprising him even when he himself felt he did not deserve it.

luis enrique priest 2

Roman chapter: study in the eternal city

Between 2005 and 2007, his bishop entrusted him to go to Rome to complete his formation as a priest studying Church History at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. This chapter of his life in the eternal city became a gift from God for his ministry. He resided at the Tiberino Priestly College, absorbed the universality of the Church and explored the depths of his faith.

The University of the Holy Cross not only provided him with historical knowledge, but opened his eyes to the divine work throughout human history. Church history became a palpable testimony to the hand of God. He discovered how the writings of many saints and pontiffs, who have been given the title of Doctors of the Church, continue to carry weight today. How that wisdom, emanating from God through the Holy Spirit, is latent and very fresh. 

"My time in Rome has been of great help to me as a priest, because I have received tools to be able to teach the laity that our faith is no fantasy, but has strong foundations that make the believer involved in the study of God. And both spiritually and personally it makes our service meaningful, because history shows us that God has never left his people alone, but always makes himself present and even more so in our life by being another. Alter Christus".
Luis Enrique Ortiz, priest from Guatemala.

The challenges of a priest

Luis Enrique Ortiz's almost 25 years of priestly life have taken him through countless paths. Among the most profound experiences he has lived as a priest, he highlights the visits to the sick as moments where God's mercy materializes. These encounters are not only acts of service, but opportunities to touch divinity in human frailty.

In the face of the challenges and dangers facing priests in today's society, Father Ortiz emphasizes the need for both academic and spiritual preparation. In a world in constant change, where faith faces challenges, the priest must be a beacon that illuminates the fundamental message: the Love of God.

Conclusion: a legacy of faith on the move

The story of Father Luis Enrique Ortiz is a living tale of faith, vocation and service. His pastoral journey in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala is not only a personal testimony, but a source of inspiration for those who seek light in the darkness. His life, woven with divine and human threads, continues to write a legacy of love, service and dedication in the journey of the Church.

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