Hear their stories: 3 Hispanic millennials will be ordained as Miami priests

Born between 1984 and 1992, they are Cuban, Dominican, and Mexican-American and will work for the Archdiocese of Miami

File photo: Archibishop Thomas Wenski in 2019.

MIAMI, Fla. – Three Hispanic millennials will be ordained as priests for the Archdiocese of Miami on Saturday. Each has a different and very personal story of what called them to their vocation. All were born between 1984 and 1992.

Now deacons, on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, Cesar Betancourt, Agustin Estrada and Enzo Rosario Prendes will be ordained by Archibishop Thomas Wenski.

Betancourt, a Dominican, remembers when his grandmother died in 1998. “I was looking for the meaning of why she died. This existential question, ’Why?’ and I had no answer. I was afraid and I said ‘Oh, my God, we live to die?’ And thanks to God, I received this ‘announcement’ that Christ has risen and that he loved me as I am . . . There, I found myself, in a way of conversation where little by little I found my vocation.”

(Hear more of Betancourt’s story below)

Mexican-American Estrada, who grew up in Southern California, said he was 20-years-old and he was looking for the “answers to life.” He went on a pilgrimage. “At that point, I saw the need to develop a personal relationship with God. The call to the priesthood was something that started giving back the meaning of life to me.” He said as unexpected as it was to him, it was a surprise to his family, too.

(Hear more of Estrada’s story below)

“My father told me, ‘Out of all my children, you were the last one I expected to take this route.’ It took a while for us all to believe it, myself included, but now we’re very happy.

Prendes, originally from Cuba, says he has his mother to thank for his choosing to become a priest.

“When I was 11 years old, my mom said she had forgotten to baptize me. She asked me if I would like to be baptized. And I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ "

(Hear more of Prendes’ story below)

After his baptism, he became an altar server in his home parish in Havana, Cuba. “That always caught my attention, being at the altar and being so close to the Lord and that really touched me . . . This journey started because of my mother who brought me to the church to be baptized.”

The ceremony can be watched on live stream on the archdiocesan website, YouTube channel, and Facebook.

St. Mary Cathedral is located at 7525 N.W. Second Ave., Miami.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com. She has a bachelor's degree from Emerson College, Boston, and a master's degree from SUNY-Empire State.