FATHER FERNANDO BIO
St Anthony of Padua is blessed to welcome a new priest into its family. Father Fernando Londoño joined the parish as parochial vicar three weeks ago. For him, this isn’t just a new assignment – it’s his second. It was only three years ago, that he stood alongside six other men, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, being ordained a priest.
Father Fernando was born and raised in a small city called Pasto, Colombia and is the third of four brothers. He recalls being a rebellious child, but through it, experiencing God’s mercy.
“I decided to enter the seminary out of a reconciliation with my father,” he said. “Before he died, my relationship with him wasn’t good. In a matter of a week, he got very sick, but before he died, the Lord granted me the opportunity to reconcile. When I reconciled, I experienced the forgiveness of my sins. I experienced the love of Jesus Christ. I saw He loved me the way I was. Then, the Lord gave me light to realize there are many that are suffering as I was suffering. They too need to listen that Christ loves them and forgives them.”
Eight months later, Father Fernando left everything – country, family, businesses – to enter the seminary. He arrived in Denver in February 2006, to begin his priestly formation at Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
“At the beginning, it was difficult because of the language and because of the culture,” he said. “But little by little, the Lord was helping me. I got used to it.”
Now, as he begins another transition, he trusts the Lord to help him again, as He always has. For Father Fernando, being a priest is “the best thing that could happen to me.” And he’s glad to continue this journey at St. Anthony of Padua.
“I’m very happy being here. I have known Father Wojciech for a long time,” he said. “This is a good way to continue my priesthood, to learn from him.”
He says he hopes to learn a lot at St. Anthony of Padua. “Learn how to be a Father,” he said. “One thing I’ve seen is, it’s one thing is to be a priest, and one thing is to be a father. Here, I see the lord will help me to be a father.”