Miguel Mendoza, a 25 year-old Mexican-American, was ordained to the diaconate last February 13, together with eight other seminarians of the archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, where he was born. A former Jehovah’s Witness, he’ll be ordained a Catholic priest in the coming months.
In an article on the El Pueblo Católico website, which belongs to the archdiocese of Denver, the young deacon talks about the story of his family as he was growing up:
When I was born, they were already Jehovah’s Witnesses. I know that my mother wanted to become a nun when she was in Mexico, but my grandmother didn’t let her. Soon after that they left the Catholic faith and found the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
False ideas about the Church
Miguel is grateful that his mother transmitted to him “a true love of God,” although he observes that “Jehovah’s witnesses have different ideas than Catholics.” In this regard, the new deacon explains:
Jehovah’s witnesses have an incorrect understanding of what the Catholic faith is. They don’t agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church and there’s almost a hatred against the Church. And that’s what I grew up with, thinking that the Catholic Church was not a good thing.
His desire to know the truth
He decided to learn more about Catholicism when he was 16. He says, “I wanted to know why we were against the Catholic Church, why it ‘taught false things,’ why they ‘worship’ the Virgin Mary or ‘worship’ the pope, and those wrong things that I thought the Church was.”
It was during his research that he got deep into questions about the priesthood from a photo of Pope John Paul II celebrating Holy Mass. Miguel wanted to know more about the liturgical vestments, about the altar, and about the people kneeling before “that piece of bread.” And the more he researched and learned, the more he became enchanted.
“I felt the call,” he told El Pueblo Católico. “The Lord was calling me to do something as beautiful as celebrating Mass and bringing Christ on the altar. I decided to get baptized. And two years later I entered the seminary.”
The path back to the Church
It was only the beginning of the miracle of faith. Not only did Miguel return to the Church, but his brother also returned, and later his mother and father.
Today, the entire family of the future priest Miguel Mendoza celebrates the Catholic faith. They look forward to the priestly ordination of the young deacon who has been enchanted by the truth of the Church.