J. Carlos Miguel-Lopez
Carlos Miguel-Lopez, now a candidate in Glenmary's formation program, is living at the Glenmary House of Studies in St. Meinrad, Ind. He has successfully completed his third semester of formal English studies. He will study English for one more semester before beginning his theology studies at St. Meinrad Seminary in Fall 2013.
He previously studied for the priesthood at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, during the 2011-12 academic year. Prior to attending Divine Word, he was an aspirant in Glenmary's program in Mexico for three years, studying philosophy at St. Juan de los Lagos Seminary.
Carlos visited the United States for the first time during the summer of 2009. He visited Glenmary's national Headquarters in Cincinnati and then spent several weeks at Glenmary's mission in Pontotoc, Miss., living with Father Gerry "Pete" Peterson. While in Mississippi, Carlos spent time working with Habitat for Humanity, helping one of the lay leaders of the Catholic Church build his home.
"My time in Mississippi was wonderful," Carlos said. "I enjoyed meeting so many people, especially Father Pete, who is a very special man. My only regret is that I do not speak enough English to communicate with everyone."
After his time in Mississippi, Carlos spent a week in at Glenmary's mission in Grayson, Ky., with Father Larry Goulding. Carlos noticed the smaller number of Spanish-speaking people living in Kentucky. "The contrast between a place like Mississippi and Kentucky is amazing," he said. "Life in these missions requires different approaches. I have lot to learn about the cultures of the United States. I love the beauty of the mountains, but there just is not a lot of people."
Two things that stood out for Carlos on his first visit to the United States was how vast the country is and how people aren't outdoors very much. "In Mexico, in the evenings, folks are gathered around sharing stories, sitting outside with neighbors and friends. Here, everyone is inside their houses at night. You do not see anyone."
He came back to the United States in March 2010 and spend Lent and Holy Week in a mission. "At the seminary in San Juan de los Lagos, all the seminarians go out for the last four weeks of Lent and for Holy Week to a parish or mission," Carlos says. "And I was given permission to come back to the United States to work with Glenmary."
Carlos comes from a large family in Chaipas and was introduced to Glenmary when Father Vic Subb spoke at his high school in Mexico.