Path to the Priesthood: Deacon Luis Marquez’s Ordination Fulfills Lifelong Promise

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

He’s not playing dress-up anymore; these days Deacon Luis Marquez gets vested for real.

“Back then they would always call me little father, like Padrecito,” he said. “Like, okay, bye padrecito. It was funny.”

Soon, he will be the man he’s always dreamed of being, a priest of the people.

“Sometimes they need somebody to listen to them because in society today, there is no person that will sit down with you and listen to you,” Deacon Marquez said. “Because we are busy all the time, on our phones. As a priest, we should do that.”

His future has promise, but in his past, there was pain. As a kid, he grew up in Medellin, Colombia, during the height of notorious cartel leader Pablo Escobar’s reign of terror.

“Everybody knows Medellin, for good or for bad,” he said.

His childhood years were lived in fear.

“We couldn’t go to enjoy ice cream in the park or go to Mass, because there were terrible things happening in Medellin, like car bombs and everything,” he said. “And it was not a secure place to live at that time.”

Deacon Marquez’s father was a police officer, an enemy of the most powerful man in his country.

“He was sending people to kill the policemen,” Deacon Marquez said. “And we suffered a lot because every time he left home, we didn’t know if he was going to come back. It was terrible.”

In 2004, his family started a new life in the U.S. Deacon Marquez was met with a new set of challenges: language and cultural barriers, and a lack of faith propelled him back to his native Colombia, where he entered the seminary.

“I was not happy at all in America,” he said. “I couldn’t find the same feelings that I felt when I was in Medellin.”

He eventually realized home is where your family is, and was once again bound for America. His formation took a ten-year hiatus over that time. He graduated college and began teaching Spanish to children in New Jersey.
“It was a beautiful, beautiful experience to teach kids from 4 to 5 years old in pre-K,” Deacon Marquez said. “I learned many things from them. They are very humble. They have God in their hearts. And if you teach something good, they are going to get a good thing from you.”

It was among those kids that God called him again to fulfill the promise he made to his younger self. He got to relive his childhood through their eyes, experiencing the carefree life he missed out on.

“They get to go to the park, and they enjoy having ice cream,” Deacon Marquez said.

Today, Deacon Marquez said his inner child has healed. Padrecito is grateful, and now he’s ready to just be Padre.

“As a priest, you can bring Jesus to everybody like this,” he said. “This is like a sign that we are Jesus Christ for people.”

You can tune into Deacon Marquez’s big day at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on June 1st.

Bishop Robert Brennan will be there to ordain him and three other deacons to the priesthood.

It all begins at 11 o’clock, right here on NET TV.