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Avila Institute Offers a “Journey of Growth”

We have a number of priests who attend the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation. Today, I’m humbled to share the story that Fr. José Bautista shared with us of the journey of growth he has experienced thanks to Avila.

Fr José Bautista -

Fr José Bautista

Fr. Bautista is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Kissimmee, Florida. He’s originally from the country of Columbia and was ordained in the Diocese of Orlando, Florida, in 1991. He holds a Licentiate of Canon Law degree and served as a judge for the diocese, as well as Director for Hispanic Ministry, prior to becoming a pastor.

Fr. Bautista found himself wanting to better understand different Catholic schools of spirituality. In particular, he was interested in different traditions and the major proponents of them. He ended up taking courses at Avila because he thought that, in addition to learning different Catholic traditions, he would also be able to learn more about the spiritual life in general.

He shares:

I began studying and decided to join Avila mainly as an intellectual pursuit of knowledge, thinking that somehow that would lead me to the grow in Spirituality.

With the first class I took, I began to realize that studying spirituality is not really an intellectual endeavor. It includes it, but not as the major goal. Instead, it is a journey of growth.

With every class I find challenges to my present state of spirituality and therefore invitations to make some clear, specific and practical changes. This fact has led me to grow spiritually in a way I did not suspect when first I began with Avila. My life has been impacted at least 500 percent.

I am just very happy to be learning what I am learning for it is readily applicable to my daily life. These changes have brought joy to my life, a deeper and greater love for God and the divine realm, and of course peace in the midst of difficulties, great peace.

Fr. Bautista began taking courses in October 2014; he’s currently taking Bible and the Revelation of Prayer and has taken six others in the last three quarters since becoming a student.

“I would recommend Avila [Institute] to all priests I know,” he shares, adding that he would also recommend it to religious and laity as well. “The change in my life as a person, as a priest, and as a pastor of the parish where I work” has been the greatest benefit he’s experienced.


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About Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia is an Admissions Counselor for the Avila Institute. She is excited to speak with anyone who is interested in learning more about the Avila Institute. All those discerning the Avila Institute are in her prayers. Know that if you feel even a tiny pull or interest, Nicole hopes to hear from you! To learn more about the School of Spiritual Formation or the Graduate Program at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, please contact Nicole at or 520-429-4524.

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  • Patricia

    This is great Father these classes has helped me to grow too not in intellectual but more of spiritual awareness of God his goodness and Mercy and the role we are called to share in the mystical body of Christ in prayer and in charity, I love Avila always look forward to it.

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