Where were you born, and can you tell us about your family?
was born in the Province of Valladolid, an autonomous region of
Castile and Leon, Spain. I am the youngest of six siblings: a brother
who is the oldest and four sisters. I come from a middle class farming
Can you recall any significant influences that inspired your Dominican
was first influenced by the faith that my mother possessed. Next,
I was inspired by the Dominican friars who staffed the church in
my hometown where I served as an altar boy from the age of six.
I was especially inspired by Fr. Reyes Mate and the Dominican habit
that he wore. Dominicans continued to influence my life, especially
those who had served as missionaries in Vietnam, China and the Philippines.
At the age of eleven and motivated by their exemplary lives, I enrolled
in the Dominican minor seminary (Colegio Apostólico).
Where did you receive your formation and what do you specifically
recall about those years of study?
completed my bachelor's degree at the Colegio Apostólico
de Arcas Reales in Valladolid, Spain. I then entered the Province
of the Rosary and completed the novitiate year, four years of philosophy
and four years of theology at the studium in Alcobendas near Madrid,
Spain. Given the excellent quality of my Dominican professors, I
believe that I received a very good education in philosophy. As
one of my professors, Father Felecísimo Martínez greatly
influenced me in my theological and pastoral studies: he served
as director my master's thesis.
Who, past or present in the Order has influenced you most?
person from the past who has influenced me most has been St. Dominic
Guzmán. He was a Spaniard just like me. Fray Bartolomé
de las Casas has also inspired me. In my own work as a missionary
in Ecuador, I have especially been taken by Las Casas' daring commitment
as a missionary and defender of the Indians.
As a Dominican friar what has been your chief ministry?
have been a missionary in the Apostolic Vicariate of Puyo in Ecuador
for more than twenty years, during which time I have worked in many
ministries. I have served as a parish priest for seventeen years;
I have served as a director of a boarding school for indigenous
children for seven years; I have served as a director of a school
for three years; I have served as Vicar General for the diocese
for six years, and Vicar General of the diocese for education for
three years. I also have served as director of "El Oriente
Domincano," a Dominican publication, for three years; I have
served as editor of "Carta Misionera," a bulletin of missionary
news, for ten years; I served as a member of the board of editors
for "La Gente" for six years; and I served as chief editor
of "Encuentro" for 15 years.
Quito, I have taught theology as a professor in the Faculty of Theology
at the Pontifical Catholic University there. I have also taught
theology at the Institute for Distance Education. I have also served
as the Director for the Theological Pastoral Institute of Ecuador
(Training Center for catechists (agentes pastorales) sponsored by
the Bishops' Conference).
Do you recall any event that has deepened your appreciation for
I was greatly influenced by the Missionary Congresses of the Order
that took place in Madrid in 1973 and 1982. I was likewise inspired
by the Congress that took place in Agua Viva, Mexico in 1991. I
participated in all three Missionary Congresses.
What does the future hold in store for the Dominican Order?
future of the Order lies in the study and in the preaching of the
Gospel. Study and preaching are inseparably united, and each supports
the other. Theological study embraces the study of human and social
realities and the preaching of God who walks each day with the peoples
of every culture and continent. In Asia we are called to dialogue
with the great religions and in Latin America and in Africa we are
called to empower indigenous cultures. While in Europe and North
America we are called to work among the urban and secularized cultures.
we encounter the powerless and marginalized we must work for justice
8. Would you invite a young person to jointhe Order today? What
points would you make in introducing that person to the Order?
Yes, I would invite, not just one young person to join the Order,
but many, all those who are living and seeking truth in life.
would tell them, "Come and see, Come and build fraternity with
us. Come with us to search; come and find the truth by following
in the footsteps of Jesus." The most convincing invitation
that I could give these young individuals would be -come see the
joy and the happiness that we experience in living Dominican community