José Francisco Oyanguren: "You must be brave and rebellious: from there have always come the great changes of humanity"
I was born in Mexico, in the city of León, in the State of Guanajuato, in the center of the country. It is a valley known as "El Bajío",a cereal agricultural area, but also of a lot of industrial projection, where for example is the main automotive industry in the country.
It is a land of simple, warm and hospitable people, who live their faith very intensely.
I studied the Baccalaureate at the Fray Luis de León school of the Augustinian Recollects in Querétaro (Mexico), a large center, with many students and with a great sense of family among the school community, as is often the case in the schools of the Order.
I spent three years there and was able to live a little bit of everything... I met several of my best friends, which I have to this day; I learned to be a person; I also had to get over some academic failure; but all these experiences, both good and bad, set me up and helped me become an adult.
I remember an art and history teacher. I liked her very badly, I thought we were never going to have a cordial relationship or that I was going to learn something with her; in fact, I was behaving very unfriendly with her. But in the middle of the year she became one of my favorite teachers and from her I learned not only a lot of art and history, but other more vital issues, such as being a better person and not judging others by my first intuition.
From a young age I had always been reminded of the life of the Church, but I did not know well what religious life or the priesthood was. When I met the Augustinians Recollects I felt a click inside me that I was going to be happy and able to help society there.
I found a family that has led me to know and love God in the people around me. Then I went through the different formative stages. The novitiate was an adventure and a challenge, it made me for the first time to leave my land, meet friends and brothers from different countries, cultures and languages.
I continued with theological studies at the San Agustín de Las Rozas Training House (Madrid) and the last step of the initial formation, the year of community and pastoral integration, I have carried out it at the College San Agustín de Valladolid.
To prepare for the priesthood I had to study Philosophy and Theology. They are very interesting, but as in any study or dedication you always feel predilection for some subjects and others were more distant to me. I particularly liked biblical subjects and canon law.
I think it certainly makes sense to be a friar and a priest in this 21st century. I believe that religious life has much to contribute to today's society, mainly by proposing concrete values such as fraternity— in an increasingly individualistic and selfish world—charity and, of course, God's experience.
God will always have something to say to every person at every stage of history.
My stay at the Colegio San Agustín de Valladolid has been very positive, learning time, to understand teaching as a mission. I've found a team of religious and teachers who have helped me through everything. In the students I have seen many willing to learn and, above all, open to solidarity and to help those who need it most.
There is no doubt that at St. Augustine I am happy. I especially feel that familiarity with which day-to-day life is lived, the educational community is a large family that is always there to support and help those who need it.
Brave and rebellious
I would advise students to be courageous and rebellious: the great changes of humanity have always come from the hand of brave young people. Rebellion is in being able to be fraternal, supportive, charitable, put the common good before one's own.
In addition we must be creative and constant, give solutions to inequality, end corruption, xenophobia and apophobia; create clean technologies and energies; but above all, be people of good and carry harmony and love around the world.
May God be an important thing in everyone's life, because what comes from Him always comes to fruition. God will always be there for us and does not disappoint. The best advice I can give is to always trust in God and, from here, strive to be good people, people who build.