Antonio Avilés, Jr.
Birthday: February 17th
Home Parish: Santa Julia, Austin
Level of Formation: Parish Assignment - St. Martin de Porres, Dripping Springs
Seminary: St. Joseph Seminary
My name is Antonio Avilés Jr; I am the oldest of five kids, two brothers and two sisters, the youngest boy and girl being twins. I was born in Austin and have traveled often to Mexico to visit family. I am a very techy person; I enjoy video games, building and repairing computers and building custom electronics. In middle school and high school, I used to play the violin and had first chair (which meant that I did some solos and was the closet one to the front of the stage and conductor.)
One of the saints that I admire is Saint Erasmus of Formia, also known as Saint Elmo, because he was persecuted but always remained strong in proclaiming the faith.
When I was much younger, I had my first experience of possibly being called to the priesthood. The priest in the middle of his homily was describing his own vocation story, and it sounded just like my life and the way I thought at the time. I am dyslexic and am nervous about speaking in front of people, so one time when I was reading for Mass, I stuttered, made some random sounds and said a few words out of order, stopped then covered my face before I had the courage to continue speaking once more. All without leaving the ambo. I have grown more confident in public speaking because of my practice and my faith. From time to time, I thought about the priesthood but always thought that I am a normal person, I like video games, I have friends, and how can I be a priest? Lo and behold that I could not be further from the truth.
I am in my fourth year of seminary and I love it. I will soon be off to study at the theologate, and I am sure I am on the path God has laid out for me. It feels like this is what I have needed to do my entire life. I am very excited to know if I am up to the task of being the Lord’s servant to help his people.