Energized by working with those on the margins
JESSE ESQUEDA, OMI
From the poor of Honduras to U.S. parolees, seminarian Jesse
Esqueda, scheduled for ordination in 2013, has found his calling
in reaching out, and now he finds even more joy in doing it with
a band of brothers, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO PRAY?
Daily silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This time of
silence helps me to be more aware of the presence of God and
more present to the people I encounter.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NICKNAMES?
I’ve had many: Jess, Spikes, J., and Chuy.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF MINISTRY?
Spending time with teens and adults who have a deep desire to
turn their lives around. Another of my best ministry experiences
has been volunteering in an orphanage of children living with
HIV. These children helped me to experience the love of God in
new and profound ways.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF COMMUNITY LIFE?
We are a group of men who care deeply for each other and for
the mission. It is a blessing to know that I am not alone because
my brothers are with me in times of doubt and sorrow as well as
in times of joy and profound happiness.
BROTHER RUSTY GARDINER, O.M.I.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
I have a great time with my brothers because we don’t always
take ourselves too seriously. It’s a blast when we’re together. I
also love having coffee with friends or watching a good movie.
TELL US ABOUT BEING CALLED TO A RELIGIOUS VOCATION.
I resisted the call for many years until I finally surrendered to it.
Surrendering to the will of God has been the best thing I have
ever done in my life.
WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE ABOUT RELIGIOUS LIFE?
I am very optimistic about the future. I see the deep longing that
most people have for meaning and purpose; consequently, I
believe that my role as a religious is very important.