Father Mauricio is the eldest of five children born into a farming family in El Calvario, Michoacán, Mexico. He quit school at age 13 to work in the fields, and at the same time, stopped going to church.

In May of 1996, when he was almost 19, his mother suggested he go to a three-day youth retreat at a nearby town. While he was there, the Sacrament of Reconciliation changed his life. “I hadn’t been to confession in years,” he recalled, “but at that retreat, I found God’s love and mercy in the Sacrament of Confession.”

Everything was transformed, he said. Back home, he began attending Mass again. Visiting seminarians noticed him at all of the services and commented to his mother that her son had a vocation to the priesthood. His uncle, working alongside him in the fields, said he thought his nephew would make a fine priest. He had never thought about it before but he began to consider the priesthood then.

On September 4th, 1996 he and his parents traveled together to the Seminario de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Morelia, Michoacán, “just to see what the seminary was like and to find out more about it.” This was a mission seminary that supplies priests to dioceses throughout the Americas. But the day didn’t go as planned. Classes at the seminary had started the week before, his family learned. So the eldest son, unwilling to wait until the next school year, entered the seminary that very day.

Life at the seminary was difficult at first, he notes, adding that the first three years were catch-up for him as he completed his high school education. But he continued on through the college philosophy and theology classes, discovering that he enjoyed the subjects.

Father Mauricio came to the Diocese of Sacramento in 2004 as a seminarian. He spent a year studying English at UC Davis before entering St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park in 2005 and graduated from there in 2010.

He was ordained as a deacon on October 31, 2009 and as a priest on May 31, 2010. Fr. Mauricio has served as a parochial vicar at Saint Mel, Fair Oaks, Our Lady of Mercy, Redding, and Saint James, Davis.

Father Mauricio Hurtado