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Fr. Esquiliano reflects on first year, offers advice

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)


STORM LAKE – Father David Esquiliano began his first year as a priest with sadness. His mother, Yolanda Diaz de Esquiliano, 57, died unexpectedly July 2, 2013, in Mexico City, two days after his ordination.

“While in itself a sad occasion, granting the Apostolic Pardon to my mom as she was dying was a consolation,” said Father Esquiliano. “A highlight has been experiencing the love that God’s people have for their priests. I’ve been humbled by their generosity towards priests.”

He said every time he helps someone “get reconciled with God” during the sacrament of confession, it has been a joy.

“Celebrating Mass is also a joyful time, that’s perhaps the highlight of my day,” said Father Esquiliano, who has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Mary’s in Storm Lake and St. Joseph’s in Schaller.

A year ago when he was ordained, in the same ceremony, Frank Lona was ordained a transitional deacon. On June 21, Father Lona became the diocese’s newest priest.

One piece of advice Father Esquiliano would like to offer to Father Lona is to “pray always.”

“Sometimes it’s difficult to find time for prayer, but we can’t afford not praying,” said the priest. “Love Christ and his church, but remember that at the end of the day, this is his church, and not ours. It’s said that St. John XXIII would kneel before every night and say, ‘Okay, Lord Jesus, it’s your church now. I’m going to bed!’”

Father Esquiliano also wanted to repeat advice from Bishop Walker Nickless – “Take your day off and your vacation time. The people of God need their priests to be with them for a long time, so we need to take care of ourselves.”

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