Brother Benito Guerrero, Jr., made his first religious profession of the vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity as a Salesian of Don Bosco Aug. 16 at St. Dominic Savio Church in Bellflower.
The Salesians’ new provincial superior, Father Theodore Montemayor, received his vows in the name of the Rector Major of the Salesian Society. Brother Guerrero completed his year of novitiate at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Rosemead under the direction of Salesian Father William Keane and other formation personnel.
Brother Guerrero, 38, the son of Benito Guerrero, Sr., and Sandra Guerrero, comes from Austin, Texas, where he and his family belonged to Cristo Rey Church. He has two younger brothers, José and Tito.
Benito wasn’t a practicing Catholic until he was in his late 20s. His catechesis for Christian initiation brought him into contact with the Salesian Sisters at Cristo Rey.
“I had no knowledge of the Salesians until I was 29 years old when preparing to receive my First Communion and Confirmation,” he said. “My first contact with the Salesian family was by coming to know and work with the Salesian sisters at my home parish. As a matter of fact, it was a Salesian sister who was my instructor during my adult formation classes.”
Soon after becoming a full member of the Church, he became very involved in parish life and worked closely with the sisters not only in his parish but throughout the entire Western U.S. Province.
The example of priests and sisters whom he observed inspired him, eventually, to want to dedicate himself to God’s service.
“Initially, I was closed off to the idea of becoming a priest,” he said. “But through spiritual direction, prayer and reflection, I soon realized that God truly was calling me to religious life. Working with the sisters and now the priests and brothers, I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to dedicate my life to the service of the Church but in particular the young.”
Consequently, he became a Salesian candidate at DeSales Hall in Bellflower, where he entered the prenovitiate phase of formation in October 2012. Last August he started novitiate with two other men, where he particularly enjoyed studying and practicing the Salesian way of life, spirituality, and Constitutions.
One of his fellow novices, Brother Rafael Vargas, made his first profession in New York on Aug. 16.
In the coming year Brother Benito will continue his Salesian formation at the Salesian house of studies in Orange, N.J., and his intellectual and priestly formation at Seton Hall University in South Orange. He aspires to remain completely open to whatever direction God will point him in and whatever apostolic needs the Salesians may have.