On July 9, Deacon Guillermo Bustillos was ordained as a priest by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila in Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart) Cathedral in his native town of Chetumal in Quintana Roo, south of México. Bustillos will serve at Saint Stephen Parish in Glenwood Springs.
His ordination was in Mexico due to his father’s health. His father was not able to travel to Denver to attend his ordination because in 2013, his father suffered a stroke and as a result, has had three surgeries since. So, Archbishop Aquila decided to go to Mexico to preside his ordination.
Bustillos expressed his “joy and gratitude to God and to the Archbishop who have followed very close my vocational process,” he said.
A discernment path…
Bustillos is Agronomist Engineer and has received two master’s degrees in Environmental Law and Agronomist Law. He was 30 years old when he felt that this way was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
“I felt that my life was empty, hopeless. I felt that something very important was missing but in that moment I didn’t know what it was,” Bustillos said.
Bustillos shared that experience with his pastor and he proposed him to start a discernment process for three years. It was then that he discovered that God was calling him to be a priest.
“I realized that this path filled my life. I had the opportunity to work on my career and then, rebuild my life. Not a life that Guillermo wanted but a life that Christ wanted,” Bustillos said.
He entered the seminary in 2004, when he was 34 years old. In 2009, he came to Denver because he wanted to serve his compatriot immigrants in this country. He studied English and Theology. In 2011, he went back to Mexico to resume his studies at the Pontifical University of Mexico. Then, he moved back to Denver again.
Catholic or Presbyterian?
Bustillos’ grandparents moved to the Presbyterian Church when they were young. The new priest remembers that when he was a child, he sometimes attended the Presbyterian Church and sometimes the Catholic Church. Finally, he decided to stay in the Catholic Church because of “the maternal love of the Virgin Mary, [and] for Jesus` mercy. He only wants a contrite heart, a heart ready to be forgiven.” He also noted that in the Catholic Church, “people love and seek the change in order to build the Christ`s kingdom on the earth and not only for fear to be condemned to go to hell.”
What most struck Bustillos about priesthood life was the “availability, the hard work they do, the long time that they dedicate to their communities and the way that they attend them.” He remembers his pastor “going to the hospital, visiting the sick people, tending to families, the young people and they even had time to play basketball with the young people.”
He describes his vocation as a gift from God, who once said to him, as he did Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke, “Today, I must stay at your house” (Lk 19:15).
“He wants to stay not only in my physical house but in my spiritual house for me to live that joy and help others to do that” Bustillos said. “It is joyful to know that you can be chosen to be a Christ`s representative in the earth, among us.”
And now, he can say with certainty: “If I were born again, I would ask again to have the opportunity to be a priest.”
Martha Fernández–Sardina contributed to this report.