The inspiring spiritual journey of Father Guillermo Treviño

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Father Guillermo Treviño. Photo by Tar Macias / Hola America
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Hola America and Hola Iowa present the Hispanic Heritage Month Special Series: Orgullo Hispano, Latino trailblazers and leaders that inspire us in the communities of Iowa and Illinois.

Important decisions have different outcomes. Those outcomes can either turn into an experience to remember or a way to see things in a different light. Father Guillermo Treviño understands very well the power of a decision and its outcome.

Father Guillermo Treviño who was ordained a Priest on June 6 of 2015 never imagined he would be following this particular path in his life. In fact, as a young man he dreamed of becoming the President of the United States someday, but God had other plans for him. Treviño was born in San Antonio, TX and he moved to the Quad Cities when he was three years old. Some would call the move from Texas to Illinois an unfortunate one since it was here that his family learned that the head of the family was sick and it was here that they lost a father and a husband.

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“I don’t remember much growing up but when my dad got sick, in the year 2000, and my dad’s death, it was very hard on me and what little faith I had went away,” Treviño explains the sad events of the past.

As any young man of High School age, Treviño had a very difficult time dealing with the loss of his father. He missed more than 60 days of school and it seemed as he was on the verge of giving up. Thanks to his dedicated and loving mother he continued on and by his senior year of High School he ran for Moline High School Senior Class President. Around that time he met a man who would become his best friend in life and that man asked Treviño a question that would lead to profound thought for Treviño at that time. His friend asked him about his position on abortion and Treviño had no answer, so his friend gives him catechism and after reading it Treviño told to his friend that he did not believe that God listens to him and his friend answered that God listens to everybody’s prayer.

“That answer changed my life, God listens to me! I felt in a way I hadn’t before,” Treviño remembers that warm feeling that took over him.

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Father Treviño worked as a reporter for Hola America as a college student.
Photo Tar Macias / Hola America

Treviño decided that he wanted to get confirmed and he was told that he had a choice to either do it with the eighth graders or with adults in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Unfortunately, Treviño felt too proud to be confirmed along with the eighth graders and so he decided to think about it more. Meanwhile, his best friend took him along with him to visit various churches and seminaries, as he was entertaining an idea of becoming a priest one day.

“While he decided it was not for him, I was starting to like the thought of becoming a priest,” Treviño comments.

That was a turning point for Treviño’s faith journey. That was also the time that people around him started to encourage him. He met with Father Rudy Juarez who took him to Father Bob Gruss (who now is a Bishop), but he was told again and again he had to get confirmed before taking any more steps.

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While dealing with his pride and desire to become a priest Treviño attended Black Hawk College, He graduated in 2007 with an Associate Degree in Political Science. Also, a year earlier, in 2006, Treviño finally let go of his pride and decided to get confirmed. He was told the same thing as years before; he could do it with eighth graders or the RCIA.

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“I was confirmed with the eighth graders and I was the tallest,” Treviño tells us with a laugh.

Now that confirmation was finally taken care of Treviño could at last pursue his dream of priesthood. So in 2007 he decided to apply for priesthood, but he did not get an application.

“That really broke my heart, but looking back at it, I was not ready and everything happens for a reason,” Treviño explains the outcome of this decision.

Even though it was very upsetting for Treviño he was trying to move on and see what he would do next. But God works in mysterious ways and while he was helping people after the immigration raids in Postville and Marshalltown in Iowa he saw Father Rudy Juarez again and he met the late Father Marv Mottet who, even retired, was very involved and was helping in St. Mary’s Church in Davenport and the late Father Jerry Pilon, who buried his father. All of them along with other of Treviño’s friends continued encouraging this young man to not give up his dream of becoming a priest. Treviño listened to their advice and he applied for the Dioceses of Davenport. In the fall of 2008 he got the great news, he was accepted. For the next few years Treviño would be studying hard.

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“Studies were difficult but they were enriching. I put a sign in my room at Conception that I kept all seven years of seminary, it is modeled after St. Bernard’s question: ‘Guillermo, why am I here? The people of God in Davenport, hang in there, persevere’,” Treviño shared his memories.

Father Guillermo Treviño at his ordination mass on June 6, 2015.
Photo Tar Macias / Hola America

Years passed since Treviño made a decision to become a priest one day and on June 6, 2015 he finally reached that important milestone in his faith journey. 

“My goal as a priest is to cooperate with God’s grace. I have been blessed with what He has given me. I hope to share the wonderful blessings I have been given. The thing I want to accomplish is to be a bridge for people. I speak English and Spanish. I like just about every sport, even NASCAR and pro wrestling. I grew up in the West End of Moline and am going to be a priest. I am living proof that with God all things are possible,” Treviño said.

Father Treviño started his journey as priest at St. Mary’s Church in Davenport, IA and in the summer of 2018 he was reassigned to St. Joseph’s Church in West Liberty, IA where he currently is. 

Decisions daily affect our lives in a myriad ways. When he was still coming out of his teen years Guillermo Treviño decided to start his faith journey. It was a right decision that surely will bring a lot of positive outcomes not only for him and his family, but for everyone who is around him. Congratulations Father Guillermo Treviño on your successful faith journey so far.

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