It is a pleasure writing to you about my vocation and life in the seminary.
First, I would like to let you know that all seminaries work in a different way and have different schedules. I have a fixed schedule for every week.Here at St. Meinrad seminary, our first communal event is Morning Prayer at 8 am; then class until 11:15 am. We celebrate Mass at 11:30 am followed with lunch. My classes are in the morning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is “Ministry Day.” All seminarians go to a specific place to minister the people of God. My ministry is to visit St. John the Baptist parish in Newburg, IN which is one hour from the seminary. I go there with two other seminarians. Our only assignment is to “observe”. That's it! We interview some members of the staff and ask them questions about their responsibilities and their lives. This is especially beneficial for me as I am from another country (Colombia). This experience allows me to see problems or possible problems and participate in solutions.
I have to take two (2) years of philosophy and four (4) of theology. This semester I am taking Latin II, Philosophy of Nature and Man, medieval philosophy and Christian Maturity. Last semester, I took Latin I, Creed on history and theology, Logical analysis and ancient philosophy. Philosophy has been a good challenge because it is not easy. I have learned a lot. I like it.On Saturday, I have a chance to go to a town called, Jasper, where I can have a nice meal and/or watch a movie. Since it is 45 to 50 minutes away, I do not go there often. On Sunday, we have Morning Prayer, Mass, a “family-style” lunch, Evening Prayer and night prayer. Eucharistic Exposition is offered on Tuesday, Thursday from 4 pm to 5 pm and on Sunday, from 7 pm to 8 pm.
I thank God for my vocation and look forward, with God's assistance and your support, to becoming a Priest.Please keep me and my fellow seminarians in your prayers.
May God bless you and your love ones.
Jose Guillermo Caballero Andrade.
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.