“Today I must stay at your house”

New priest from Mexico ordained for the Archdiocese of Denver

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.

Father Guillermo Bustillos is now serving at St. Stephen Parish in Glenwood Springs. (File Photo)

Father Guillermo Bustillos is now serving at St. Stephen Parish in Glenwood Springs. (File Photo)

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.

Father Bustillos receives the Sacrament of Ordination by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila. (Photo provided)

Father Bustillos receives the Sacrament of Ordination by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila. Because his father’s poor health prevented his parents from traveling to Denver, Father Bustillos was ordained by Archbishop Aquila in his home country of Mexico. (Photo provided)

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.

COMING UP: Two missionary seminarians ordained deacons

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Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila presided over the ordination Mass of Deacon Freddy Londoño and Deacon Guillermo Bustillos Nov. 7, who are now ready to embark on their new, divinely-given mission.

Deacon Freddy Londoño
Deacon Londoño was born and raised in Colombia. He is the third boy in his family and has three siblings. Growing up, his parents experienced struggles in their marriage, and when Londoño was 10 years old, he was led to believe his father had abandoned him. His father did return, but as a result of his absence, his relationship with his father struggled.

Londoño worked for his father in a restaurant during his formative years, which also contributed to their strenuous relationship.

“My relationship with him was very difficult. I couldn’t relate with him as a father and a son; for me, he was my boss,” Deacon Londoño said.

He was rebellious against his parents throughout his teenage years. However, when he was 19, he worked in a bakery his father owned in hopes of learning how to relate to him better.

The deep spiritual question of his life’s meaning haunted him during this time. He wondered why his relationship with his family was so poor.

“I didn’t see the meaning of my life because I found myself in this situation in which my relationship with my father was not good, and I was asking, ‘why?’” he said.

Londoño’s father became sick shortly after this. His condition worsened, and eventually wound up in a comatose state.

“I got so scared because I realized he was dying,” Deacon Londoño said. “Something inside of me was telling me, ‘reconcile.’”

Londoño went to his father and asked forgiveness. Although his father was in a coma, he said he felt forgiven.

“I asked for forgiveness for everything I did,” Deacon Londoño said. “When I went out of the room, everything became clear. The colors were brighter. Something happened, and I was completely at peace with my life and my history and my father.

“In that moment, I understood why I was working with my father. That year was fundamental for me because I saw that the Lord was preparing me for this event, and especially for this reconciliation.”

Londoño’s father passed away in April 2005. He says this is when his vocation began. He entered back into the church and experience reconciliation through the sacraments, and was able to reconcile with his family.

In August, Londoño attended a vocational youth gathering and felt that God was calling him to be a priest because of everything he had experienced in his life. He was asked if he’d be willing to enter into seminary immediately, and although he’d taken over his father’s business after he passed away, Londoño decided he would “give everything out of gratitude for what [he] had received.” He was assigned to Redemptoris Mater in 2006.

As a new deacon, Deacon Londoño simply wants to share the mercy of the Lord, the same mercy he’s experienced in his life.

“One thing I have seen is that God has been merciful in my life, so out of gratitude, I just want others to know that there is mercy,” he said. “I never understood the meaning of my suffering until I came to know the love of Christ.”

Deacon Guillermo Bustillos
Deacon Guillermo Bustillos and his family hail from Mexico, near Cancun. He is the third of four boys.

Deacon Bustillos is very excited about his vocation and is eager to serve as a deacon.

“I am very happy,” he said. “I enjoy this moment because I feel how wonderful God is and his love for me. He chose me, [and] I see his mercy and his kindness. He transformed my life.”

Bustillos had studied agricultural engineering, but felt a call from Jesus to change his ways, he said, and now he feels as though he’s found new life in Christ.

“I see the promise of Jesus in me,” Deacon Bustillos said. “He brought me new life, and new opportunity to live and spread his Gospel in other countries and to meet with other people and enjoy the same faith and grow in the love of God.”

Deacon Bustillos loves all the Sacraments, but he is most passionate about the Sacrament of Reconciliation because of the grace it offers and door it opens to a deeper relationship with God, he said.

“When people go to the confessional, the priest opens the doors of heaven to that person through this Sacrament,” he said. “This Sacrament is the key to entering a life with God since Confession prepares me to enter into a deeper relationship with the Blessed Trinity.”

As a missionary deacon, Deacon Bustillos is willing and ready to serve any parish, no matter where on the globe it may be.

“Now I will have the opportunity to serve my church more effectively because I am in a better position to help the parishioners and share the love of Jesus,” he said. “My hope is to show how wonderful and amazing God is.”