groups come to learn and, the friarshope, be advocates for immigrationreform and justice for native peoples.
The friars work closely with theTohono O’odham government andcultural center to coordinate theselearning experiences.
The next natural step
Vásquez began the formal preparation to be a Franciscan in 1986,eventually choosing ordination(although not all friars do; someFranciscan friars choose to bebrothers). Priesthood was the nextnatural step for a guy who grew upin a small town in Texas immersedin Hispanic devotions, entered a“junior seminary” at age 13, and hadalways wanted to be a priest.
“I fell in love with God, and
later, living as a religious,” Vásquez
explains in a 2016 video interview,
“I would describe it as trying to fall
into Love—to let myself be envel-
oped into [God’s love].”
As Vásquez fields questions
about his daily life, he runs down a
theological rabbit hole for a moment
or two, but then he stops himself:
“We religious can lapse into navel
gazing,” he chuckles. Soon he’s spec-
ulating on a practical matter: the dire
state of the parish budget. “Luckily,
we’re poor enough that it keeps us
from becoming fat and sassy!”
Laughter through tears indeed. =
RELATED ARTICLES: VocationNetwork.org, “Man with a mission” and “SisterNorma Pimentel takes our questions.”
I fell in love withGod, and later, livingas a religious, I woulddescribe it as tryingto fall into Love.”
VÁSQUEZ and membersof his Franciscancommunity say gracebefore dinner.
VÁSQUEZ arrives atSt. Joseph’s Churchin Pan Tak, Arizona.