Father Jhon Jader Gómez, 35, was born in Medellin, Colombia, to Rafael Gómez and Lilia Rivera. He graduated from the minor seminary of San Pio X and entered the Colombian Navy, completing two years of military service. Following that, he worked as a bus driver until coming to join his family in the United States. He regards Saint Joseph Parish in South Norwalk, where his family are parishioners, his home parish.

Deacon Gómez intended to pursue the American Dream – which did not include the priesthood – but the Lord called him to a different path. With the encouragement of Msgr. Stephen DiGiovanni, then rector of Saint John Fisher, he entered in 1995. The following year he returned to Colombia and completed his studies in philosophy at Cristo Sacredote Seminary in La Ceja, Antioquia. Deacon Gómez completed his theological studies at Saint Thomas Aquinas University (the Angelicum) in Rome.

During his seminary years in Colombia, Deacon Gómez served as a missionary in Chile and worked with the chaplain’s office of the Medellin police department. In Rome, his pastoral assignments took him to that city’s hospitals. Following ordination in Colombia to the transitional diaconate, he returned to this diocese. He has served the past year at Saint Joseph Parish in Shelton, working with both Hispanic and English-speaking parishioners.

Msgr. Bernard Hebda from the Vatican Office for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts will vest Deacon Gómez at his ordination, and deliver the homily at his first Mass. Newly-ordained Father Gómez will celebrate two Masses at Saint Joseph’s on Sunday, May 20: in English at 10:30 a.m. and in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.