Friday, June 10, 2022
Seminarians Oscar Marquina and André Sicard
On June 24, seminarians Oscar Marquina and André Sicard will be ordained to the diaconate; both men are expected to be ordained priests next year.
As a young adult, Marquina pursued an education in environmental engineering and worked in the field for several years, but he always felt drawn to the priesthood. The seed of his future calling was planted while he was president of the Newman Center at Utah State University, he said.
It was a “snowball effect,” where “I wanted to learn more and more about my faith, and it just clicked that I was called to the priesthood,” said Marquina, who entered Mt. Angel Seminary in 2016 and completed two years of Pre-Theology (Philosophy). He then attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he is currently completing his degree in theology. Thereafter, he will begin the license in canon law, a three-year program.
Last year, he spent his pastoral year at St. John the Baptist Parish in Draper, helping with the youth group, attending Mass and handling the reception. In the summer of 2020, he served in the Cathedral of the Madeleine and worked with Father Langes Silva, Diocesan Judicial Vicar, at the Diocesan Tribunal. This year, after his diaconal ordination, he will spend the summer at Christ the King Parish in Cedar City.
“I look forward to beginning to serve the diocese as an ordained minister,” he said. “I am calm after all these years of preparation and study. I’m also relieved because it’s a long road and I’ve been waiting for this moment for six years.
Although Marquina found his true calling in the priesthood, he also felt great joy in serving as a lay person in the Church, a path open to all faithful Catholics, he said.
“The presence of God is important in a person’s life these days,” he said, “because knowing God, knowing Christ, helps us to be more grateful for the gifts we have in this life. It also gives us guidance and strength in the difficulties we encounter throughout life. More importantly, it is where we find light and truth.
Marquina hopes at some point that her canon law background will allow her to sit on the diocesan tribunal, which handles the cases of married couples seeking a declaration of invalidity of marriage, and also provides canonical advice.
“It’s a very specific and unique service area, but it’s a very necessary service area,” he said. “It attracts me to be able to help the diocese and the Catholic faithful and the couples and my brother priests. I can serve from this office.
As he forges his path to the priesthood, Marquina knows he did not make the journey alone, he said.
“I am very grateful for all the prayers and for all the support they have given me across the diocese,” he said.
For Sicard, being called to the priesthood was a lifelong discernment that began when his mother took him to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a small child.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Sicard moved with his family to Sandy, Utah when he was 2 years old so his father could work for his cousin.
As he regularly attended Adoration at the parish of Sainte-Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jésus, Sicard’s love of the Church and of the Savior and the desire to serve Him grew.
“At the beginning, I had the feeling that I wanted to be a priest; I even played mass at home when I was a little kid,” said Sicard, who became a mass server at the age of 5. “Growing up, discernment became more serious.
During his senior year of high school as he pondered his future, Father Martin Diaz, his pastor at the time, urged him to explore the path of priesthood. Sicard spoke with the then diocesan director of vocations, the late Deacon Ricardo Arias, and all the last doubts were swept away when one day he read a daily reflection.
“He was talking about how we don’t always know where the Spirit is calling us and that might not be the easiest thing or exactly what’s completely comfortable, but if we just surrender to God and the ‘Spirit, we’ll go where God wants us,” he said. “I really felt like God was speaking to me at that moment telling me that you should go to seminary. I felt God telling me to take the leap.
In August 2015, Sicard enrolled in Mt. Angel Seminary. He graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, religious studies and literature. He recently received a doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of America and began a three-year canon law program there at the request of Bishop Oscar A. Solis.
Sicard served in his home parish and in St. George Parish during the summers of his seminary years. This year he will work at St. Joseph Parish in Ogden.
He looks forward to being ordained a deacon.
“I think after seven years of seminary training, I am excited to move into this next phase of the priesthood training process,” he said. “I feel very humble thinking of all the people who have supported me throughout my journey: parishioners, so many priests, Fr. Martin Diaz, Fr. José [Barrera] in Sainte-Thérèse, my family, my friends and other seminarians as well as the teaching staff of the seminary.
Ordinations of new deacons will take place during the same Mass at which Deacon Tristan Dillon will be ordained a priest. Mass will be Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Magdalen, 309 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City. All are welcome, but places are limited. The mass will be broadcast live on the cathedral’s YouTube channel, cotmtv.