My name is Gregory P. Márquez, although I prefer to simply be called Father Greg. Since July 1, 2014, I am the new parochial vicar of this (our) parish of Santiago de Compostela. It is a great pleasure for me to be here with all of you. I generally prefer to not talk so much about myself, but since I am new to this place, I know that some may want to know a little bit about me, perhaps specifically about my past, and how and when my vocation to the priesthood came about.
My past: I was born in Los Angeles County, CA, and we lived in the city of South Gate. My family is originally from the region of Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. I am completely bilingual, I know how to speak, read and write in both Spanish and English. During my lifetime, I have lived in various parts of the USA, Mexico and Germany. Why Germany, you ask? When I was 18 years old and out of high school, I joined the United States Air Force for four years, the better part of which I spent in Germany. I learned the German language during that time, and to this day consider that I can speak it with an intermediate fluency. After serving in the military, I received a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton. After finishing my studies at CSUF, I worked as a teacher at a language institute in Mexico City.
My vocation: I was born into and grew up in the heart of a traditional Catholic family. I believe that I really became aware of my vocation to the priesthood when I was in the military. However, the crucial moment occurred when I was working in Mexico City. There, I had the opportunity to attend daily Mass, since there was a church near my work with a daily Mass at 1 pm. On Sundays, however, I would go to Mass at a parish run by the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. The pastor there became my spiritual director, and I was first invited to attend the postulancy and then the novitiate, both in Mexico. Eventually I received an invitation to study for the Diocese of Orange, and I entered St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA. I received the sacred order of the priesthood at the hands of Bishop Tod D. Brown, on June 7, 2003. The parishes where I have served since then are: Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano (4 years); St. Boniface (6 years); Our Lady of Guadalupe (1 year); and now, happily here at Santiago de Compostela.
I am very happy to be here, and I look forward to meeting all and every one of you. Please keep me in your prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Greg Márquez.