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Growing up in a non-practicing Catholic home in Southern California, Rev. David Gonzalez, O.Praem., remembers entering a Catholic church only once during his childhood — for a wedding. Yet when he was in high school, his mother stumbled upon a flier for the confirmation program at the local parish and, for whatever reason — the Blessed Mother’s intervention, he surmises — she insisted that he enroll. His life would be forever changed.

In that class Fr. David learned for the first time about beautiful, astonishing concepts such as the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, enkindling in him a love for Our Lord and His church. Within two years, he would be confirmed and, within three, enter the postulancy at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California. Fast forward another 12 years, which included three years’ studying at the Angelicum in Rome and, in 2014, he would be ordained a priest.

Over the course of his 14 years with the Norbertine Order, Fr. David has taught at numerous Catholic high schools in Orange County. His latest assignment as one of the College’s four full-time chaplains is his first working with college students. “It is just a fantastic environment here,” he says. “It is well suited for the goal that the College has, and that is to bring about a greater perfection of the Catholic mind, the Catholic intellectual life, and also devotional life, so as to lead students to true wisdom.”