Deacon Cárdenas Morán wants ‘to be there’ for people, extend God’s mercy
By Paul Thomas Moore l The Catholic Post
Deacon Ignacio Cárdenas Morán likes friendship — and coffee.
“When I have time with friends, I’m always like: ‘Can we have a coffee?’ Talk and drinking coffee is something ‘very Ignacio,’” he said, laughing.
Deacon Cárdenas Morán will celebrate his first Mass — bilingual — on Sunday, May 28 at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral. . . . He will be present for the first time on the other side of the confessional, administering the “sacrament of mercy” from 2 to 2:45 p.m.
Similarly, he considers the visible presence of the priest in the community to be something like a fishing line in the water, a living invitation. “Our capacity to be patient, to be there, I think is something beautiful,” he said.
One of Deacon Cárdenas Morán’s pivotal early lessons in faith came from watching his older brother return to the pew after receiving the Eucharist. “I was a child and I couldn’t receive Communion, “he said, but he saw what it meant to his brother.
“To see his face, with his faith, with his hope, with his love for Jesus — I wanted to experience that,” he said.
LOVE FOR THE SACRAMENTS
While in seminary in Colima, Mexico, he saw other faces that touched his soul, and sparked his vocation.
“I made the decision to be a priest of Jesus Christ as I was serving two years in the prison,” said Deacon Cárdenas Morán. “I said to myself and to God, ‘I want to be your priest, because I want to be a minister of your mercy.’“
He entered seminary formation earlier than many of his classmates, moving away from home to attend St. Miguel de la Mora Catholic High School in Colima at 16. Later he attended Seminario de Colima De la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo (Precious Blood of Jesus) Seminary in the same city.
He acknowledges the early days away from home were challenging, “I was missing my family, my friends, my stuff, my hometown.” But little by little, he learned to pray, “to grow in my relationship with Jesus,” and to love the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation.
Deacon Cárdenas Morán has a fervent desire to bring souls the healing grace of the sacrament of reconciliation in persona Christi — “in the person of Christ.”
“Sometimes there will be many people around, sometimes there will be nobody,” he said. “The important thing is to be there for our people.”
And for Deacon Cárdenas Morán, “his people” includes all cultures.
In his parish assignment at Immaculate Conception in Monmouth last summer, he appreciated the mingling of cultures, including Hispanic, African-American, and Vietnamese.
“The priest has to show the people that God is present even if you are not in your own land,” he said
After the Mass of Ordination this Saturday, May 27, the public is invited to a reception at 2:30 p.m. in the gym of St. Mark School in Peoria.
He will celebrate his first Mass — bilingual — on Sunday, May 28 at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Father J. Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap., one of his professors at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, will be the homilist.
But just before his first Mass, Deacon Cárdenas Morán will be present for the first time on the other side of the confessional, administering the “sacrament of mercy” from 2 to 2:45 p.m.