Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas


2016 — Pre-Theology

José Guillermo Caballero Andrade

Studying at St. Meinrad Seminary, Indiana

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Dear Parishioners at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish:

My name is José Guillermo Caballero Andrade.  I was born in Ibague, a lovely city in Tolima, Colombia.  My parents are Juan Caballero and Rubiela Andrade.  I am one of three brothers.

When I was in the middle of my college studies (foreign languages and international business) at the University of Tolima, I had a personal encounter with the Lord.  When I think about this experience, I like to compare myself with St. Paul on his way to Damascus.  Although I wasn’t persecuting Christians like him, I wasn’t a devoted Catholic person.  After this experience, which turned my life 180 degrees, I started to think about living a consecrated life.  I still cannot remove this feeling from my heart.

After this personal encounter with the Lord, I asked for advice.  I went to the Holy Spirit Parish in Ibague, and I talked with a priest who told me that I should finish my studies.  He said that during this study time I could clarify my thoughts.  Later on, in my last year of college, Father Jose Yoban Lozano told me that I should apply to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Little Rock.  So, I said: “Why not?”  I talked with Msgr. Scott Friend, and after some interviews, I was accepted.

Taking advantage of my English knowledge, I worked as an English teacher for several months.  But I was not feeling satisfied.  So, I thought, “It is good to be an English teacher, but this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life”.  Now I see this experience as a good preview of what a priest is -- someone who teaches the divine doctrine.

Another experience that has marked my journey was being a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.  I was a member of the youth ministry group called “Jesús y María” (Jesus and Mary).  Sometimes I like to think that the Lord only needs an open heart to do great things.  And I say this because in just a few months I was playing the guitar and I was singing in this ministry.  I only touched a guitar a couple of times in high school and that is it.  Those days in that ministry were a blessing.  During my service in the music ministry, I participated in a national youth congress being the first guitar.  I was even singing!

Now I am studying at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.  It is a wonderful place.  It is located in a rural area.  For more information about this seminary, you can acces  This summer I will be attending a retreat called IPF (Institute for Priestly Formation) in Nebraska.  Hopefully I will have the chance to visit you a couple of days.

I would like to thank all the people who are supporting and praying for me.  I am humbled, flattered and blessed because of this.  May the Lord bless us.  Amen.