Brother Beto Professes First Vows

For Bro. Floriberto “Beto” González Castañeda, OMI, his faith journey has been a long and winding road.

Brother Beto was born in 1985 in Alacatlatzala in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico. He is the second oldest in his family of eight children. As a teenager he worked as a taxi and bus driver.

In 2005, at the age of 20, Bro. Beto migrated to the United States and found work in New York City, first in a pizzeria and then for several years at an electronics store. He spent ten years in New York City and was an active member of Ascension Parish located in upper Manhattan.

At Ascension Parish, Bro. Beto participated in the young adult group, lector ministry and charismatic renewal program. In 2009 he went on a retreat at the Centro Católico Carismático in the Bronx which changed him profoundly and he began to focus his life on God.

Soon he began to feel a calling to religious life, and after some initial contact with the Franciscans, he approached Fr. Daniel Leblanc, OMI, who was ministering at Ascension Parish while also representing the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the United Nations in New York.

At first, Bro. Beto assumed that Fr. Daniel was a diocesan priest, but when he learned that Fr. Daniel was a Missionary Oblate he began to be drawn to the life of a missionary priest. He applied to the Missionary Oblate’s Pre-novitiate program in Tijuana, Mexico, and was accepted, returning to his native Mexico to begin his Missionary Oblate journey.

After four years of philosophy study in Tijuana, Bro. Beto received a licentiate in philosophy from the archdiocesan seminary and was then assigned to the Missionary Oblate novitiate in Guatemala for a year of study and discernment before making his First Vows. Brother Beto was the first Missionary Oblate from the U.S. Province to ever complete his novitiate year in Central America.

The novitiate in Guatemala receives novices from throughout Latin America. This allowed Bro. Beto to discern his calling with people from diverse backgrounds. His brother novices were from Colombia, Brazil and Peru. His novice master was from Poland and the assistant novice master was from Argentina.

Today, Bro. Beto is taking theology courses in Mexico City. His classmates are impressed by his perseverance and commitment to being a servant of the poor.

From his days in Tijuana, Guatemala and now Mexico City, Bro. Beto has been well-regarded as generous in his service, with a big heart for the poor and a hard-working student. The Missionary Oblates of the U.S. Province along with their benefactors are honored to accompany Bro. Beto during the coming years along his journey to the priesthood.