"Everyone started saying, 'Why don’t you go to the seminary?,' and my answer was that my English was not good enough. With that answer, I pushed away the idea of going to the seminary. Without knowing it, God was preparing me for just that."

Mr. Marcos Alvarado Trasmonte

Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR
College III

I was born and raised in a beautiful and hot country in South America called Ecuador. I grew up in a non-practicing Catholic family. God eventually called my mom to join a prayer group, which was the beginning of everything.

When I was 15 years old, I received the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. A few months later, my friends pushed me to join the youth ministry of the same prayer group that my mom was in. Everything was ok until I had the chance to experience a spiritual retreat that was life-changing. If you would have asked me, “Would you like to be a priest?” before the retreat, my answer would be simple. “NO.” But, something had happened in me, because after that, I was open to the idea.

Later, I was named the youth coordinator of the group. One of my friends told me to watch a movie about Saint John Bosco. I thought it was going to be boring, but I was amazed by his work and how God worked through the Saints. I started to follow in his footsteps. I started devoting myself to the youth and really thinking about the priesthood vocation. Two years later I moved out the country and started a new life in the United States. I didn’t know what God had prepared for me.

The first thing that I did when I got to Oregon was to get involved in the Church. I joined the Spanish chorus as a guitarist. After a few months, I started to help with religious education. Everyone started saying, “Why don’t you go to the seminary?,” and my answer was that my English was not good enough. With that answer, I pushed away the idea of going to the seminary. Without knowing it, God was preparing me for just that. Years later, I attended the vocation discernment retreat with Archbishop Alexander Sample and the priesthood vocation came back to my mind.

I am now starting a new journey and only God knows how it is going to end. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been with me in this journey and to you who take the time to read our stories. I would like to ask you to please pray for us, and for all the seminarians in the world, that we can do God’s will. Thank you and God Bless You.