Father Montana greets parishioner at Sacred Heart. See more photos below.
Father Ángel Montana was 14-years-old when he heard his bishop back home in Guadalajara, México talk about the need for more priests in his diocese. He knew almost instantly that God was preparing him for a religious life.
Two years later, with the full support of his parents, he entered seminary at the Universidad Pontificia de México where he received a degree in theology. The following year he earned a degree in Canon Law.
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara on Jan. 18, 1992.
“I enjoyed being an altar server very much. Growing up, I attended daily Mass with my mother and nine brothers and sisters. We said the rosary every evening. I was happy and eager to answer the Lord’s call,” he said. “Celebrating my 25th anniversary this year is special and I’m thankful to share the gifts I’ve received from our Lord with my parishioners over the years.”
Father Montana noted that every single person is important to the Lord, whether he is ministering to one, two or 1,000 people. He recalled his first assignment as a priest started out with more empty seats in church than he preferred.
“I learned early in my priesthood that everyone counts. I’ve always focused on showing Jesus Christ and his blessings to others, through the sacraments and the Word of God,” he said. “Everything I do is through Jesus Christ.”
Father Montana began his priestly vocation in his home of Guadalajara where he served as a priest for three years before being loaned out to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1994. Five years later, he asked Bishop Roberto Gonzales if he could come to Corpus Christi and with the bishop’s permission in March 1999 he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Joseph in Alice. After a couple of years, he was made pastor of St. Mary in Freer, where he believes his work as a priest blossomed.
“This was my first parish and here I gave some of my best years as a priest,” he said. “I worked with all pastoral groups, parish organizations and ministries. We celebrated beautiful posadas and Holy Week activities. It was a wonderful experience.”
He was assigned to St. Joseph in Corpus Christi in 2010 and was then sent to Sacred Heart in 2013, where he currently not only oversees the parish, but Central Catholic Elementary, as well. The school has 78 students, from grades 1-5.
During his 25 years of serving various parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, he has noticed society as a whole has changed dramatically; in particular, the way people treat each other.
“We are all human. I think we need to be more patient with each other. People need to see Jesus Christ in others. I know it’s not easy, but if we ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and pray, we can overcome any challenge in our lives,” he said.