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Transitional deacon to be ordained

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge will ordain seminarian Guillermo Gonzalez to the transitional diaconate Jan. 26. Gonzalez was born March 17, 1989, in Sonsonate, El Salvador, to Moises Amilcar Gonzalez Torres and María Kelly Cruz de Gonzalez, the younger of their two boys. His elder brother, Emerson, died in 2015. Gonzalez, who moved to the United States as a teen, has lived primarily in Fairfax and Centreville. He graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly in 2008.

After high school, he entered seminary for the Community of the Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, studying at San Damaso Ecclesiastical University in Madrid and serving in various pastoral assignments in Spain and Colorado. Beginning in 2016, he spent a year studying at The Catholic University of America in Washington in order to be closer to home as his father battled cancer. In 2017, he discerned out of the order and entered formation for the Diocese of Arlington.

He finished his theology degree in Madrid and currently is earning his master’s degree at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., while serving weekends at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester. He will be ordained to the transitional diaconate Jan. 26 at St. Leo Church in Fairfax, his home parish.

“When I transferred to the diocese, I had a conversation with Fr. (J.D) Jaffe, our former vocations director, and Bishop Burbidge, and we agreed that, even though I had already earned an academic degree, I needed some transitional time in order to get to know the diocese better and for the diocese to get to know me better,” said Gonzalez. “Bishop Burbidge asked me if I wanted to (be ordained) in my home parish during the context of a regular Sunday Mass in order to let the parish be part of this special moment and I thought this was a great idea. This was a great gift from the Lord rather than a surprise for me.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020