As published in the St. Patrick Parish website:
Hello, yeah, Brother Mark, that’s me. Two new guys on the scene with m-names; Father Mike, and Brother Mark, I know it can be a little confusing at times, but I’m here to settle some of that confusion. I am glad to be part of this parish community for the following year, and hope to be of help in whatever ways I can. So if you see me in my black habit don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to me. I would love to meet you. I will give you the head start on getting to know me by way of this article.
I am 27 years old from San Gabriel, CA. I was not a stuendt at Saints, neither did I just graduate from there as is popularly misconceived. I took part in parish life on and off for most of my youth at my home parish the San Gabriel Mission. It was when I turned 16, as a junior, I started confirmation, and inadvertedly began an adventure with God I never quite planned on. Until then, I was looking for trouble but Hip Hop kept me positive as I was using my creativity in Hip Hop music with my friends. Soon after getting involved in my parish youth group, I suddenly wanted to rap for Jesus. But I was also in a crisis of sorts, because oddly enough, I actually wanted to be a monk or a priest, a rather strange turn of events I could have never anticipated. The next several years would be a trial and error trying to do something that I was not preparing to be, a priest. However, I soon realized that I could likely integrate Hip Hop into priestly ministry, it would just take some more revolutionary ideas. The time between joining the Order and being confirmed saw me more involved in parish life, particularly in the youth group and young adult ministry. I am continuing that here at St. Patrick’s, and will probably be doing more as the Church calls me.
By the way, if you are interested, please check out my blog Priest Hip Hop. It is something of an online digital scrapbook for my life, hip hop music, Augustine quotes, prayer, and eventually some more reflections on the Gospels and the Spiritual life.