Path to the Priesthood: Fr. Martin Rangel-Garcia
Fr. Martin Rangel-Garcia was born in a small town called Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, Chihuahua, situated along the US-Mexican border. He was born into a small, loving and very devout Catholic family. Childhood memories are all related to family and the Church: the beautiful processions accompanied by musical bands, in which his family would participate, either for Holy Week or for the town’s patronal feast of “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe”; visits to neighbor’s houses to pray the rosary for the traditional Posadas during Christmas; his mother’s Bible study class; or simply attending Sunday Mass with his family. The Faith was part of the family’s everyday life which was very favorable for his vocation.
When his family migrated to Arizona, many of their beloved traditions stayed in Mexico. Life in the United States was very different, and even the Faith was practiced differently – it was less “lively.” As the years went by, the practice of the Faith in him diminished. Yet, God continued to call on young Martin’s heart. His faith found a renewed vigor when the family moved back to Texas, close to their hometown in Mexico. Having old friends close, with whom Martin would attend youth group meetings at his home parish, gave the young priest-in-the-making a boost to his faith. In 2004 he joined a missionary youth group for eight years, which further strengthened him in his vocation.
Eventually the time came for Martin to make a life changing decision. Enter the seminary? Which seminary? The secular priesthood was not appealing, because he did not want to live alone in a parish. Therefore, it had to be a religious congregation which lived life in community. A solid Catholic formation was another thing that Father looked for, along with the daily use of the habit.
All these traits he found within the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. Guided by Fr. Kenneth Fryar, FSSP, Martin entered Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in 2011. Persevering in his vocational call, by God’s grace, Father was ordained to the sacred priesthood on May 26th, 2018, at Saint Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska, by the Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland, Oregon.
Our thanks to Mr. Michael Curtis for the photographs used in this article.
June 11, 2018