Padre Juan Jose Hernandez Salas
My name is Juan Jose Hernandez Salas. I am 35 years old and I am from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I have two brothers and two sisters. I am the youngest of five children to my parents, Jose and Celia. Emmanuela, Gilberto and Jorge are all married. Arcelia is single and lives with my parents.
My life in the seminary began when I was 11 years old, where I studied all the way through Philosophy and Theology. In total, I was in the seminary in Mexico for 15 years. I left the seminary for six years because I wanted to work and have an experience of living with my family once again. I worked for a shoe company called Flexi as a business assistant and other positions. It was a job that I enjoyed and I was given a lot of responsibility within the company.
After working in this company for six years, I met Father Burke Masters who invited me to consider studying for the diocese of Joliet. After interviewing with Fr. Burke and the vocation team, I was accepted. In August of 2013, I began my seminary studies for the Diocese of Joliet in the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. I studied English as a second language.
The Diocese of Joliet has received me with open arms to continue my studies toward the priesthood. During my breaks I have had good experiences working in different parishes. During Christmas break I was living in Divine Savior Church with Father William Conway. I also lived at Saint Joseph Parish with Father John Phan in Downers Grove while I studied English at UIC for the summer of 2014.
My last assignment was at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Mokena with Father Dindo Billote and Father John Lovitsch. I worked full time in the parish this past summer.
I was ordained a priest on May 21, 2016 in the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet and now I have the honor of being assigned as your vicar here in St. Mary’s.
Please pray for me and I promise to pray for you.