Letting God lead: Profile of Father Sergio Perez, O.S.J.

When Sergio Perez told people he was joining the Oblates of St. Joseph, his friends said, “Yeah, right!” His mom was so upset she cried. What was the guy who loved dancing, founded a fraternity, and aspired to being an actor or teacher with a wife and plenty of kids doing? He was letting go so “God could lead me to my happiness and holiness,” he says. Eleven years later his large family and once skeptical friends accept and embrace his vocation as a religious priest.

Father Sergio perez, O.s.j.

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(Photo courtesy of the Oblates of St. Joseph)

What first attracted you to your community?

The example of the Oblate priests in my home parish in Bakersfield, California initially drew me to consider their way of living. The simplicity, humility, and community life were too tempting to resist.

Ever had any nicknames?

Plenty, including some I can’t share! Usually my friends call me Serg or Sergie, and one friend always calls me Father Boogie because I love to dance.

What kinds of ministry have you done?

Right now I’m the vocation director for my community, but I’ve worked in many areas: parish pastoral work, juvenile corrections, services for neglected children, foreign mission trips, catechesis, and more.

Your best ministry experiences so far?

Working with young people one-on-one and seeing them grow and “get” their faith. Also, I enjoy celebrating the sacraments with youth and seeing their faith come to life.

Your favorite way to pray?

I love going to Adoration and being in the presence of Jesus. It’s refreshing and helps me to calm down and focus.

The best part of living in community?

Being part of a family. It is one of the best feelings to be home with others, to share your day. We pray daily that we imitate the Holy Family within our community. It isn’t always easy, but it’s great to keep on trying.

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