Father Luis Alfredo Garcia Chavez is the new Catholic priest for White Sands Missile Range. Chavez arrived at WSMR in early October. He has served as a priest for the past 14 years and comes from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he has served his entire priesthood.
He is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico.
His arrival has prompted the return of weekday masses, Monday through Friday at 11:35 a.m. and Sunday mass will also continue at 9:30 a.m. at Sierra Chapel off of Crozier Street.
Confessions are also held an hour before weekday masses, Monday through Friday.
Where are you from and where is home for you?
I am from Chihuahua, Mexico and that is where I grew up. I was born and raised in Mexico until I was 28 then I moved to the panhandle of Texas. I moved to Amarillo, Texas.
When you were younger what did you aspire to be?
I wanted to be a teacher and an engineer.
What led you to the priesthood?
I don’t know, I still ask myself the same question. Maybe it was circumstances at the time, maybe it was the grace of God.
There is not one precise moment, it is a series of events and moments so maybe it’s all of the above.
What have you learned since becoming a priest?
Number one I learned that I don’t know anything. When I think I’ve figured it out, I soon realize that I know nothing.
I learned that a journey with God is a funny journey, there are a lot of laughs. I’ve also learned to expect the unexpected, a lot of surprises.
Is there someone you’d like to credit who helped guide you to where you are today?
There’s not one specific person who helped guide me throughout my life. There were a series of people.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to play sports and go to the gym. I watch sports. I don’t have a favorite team but I enjoy watching sports. Right now I’m enjoying watching the
World Series between the Cubs and the Indians. I like quiet time, walking and taking care of my two dogs. I have a German-Shepherd and a Husky.
How do you feel about coming WSMR?
I feel great. The weather is similar to the weather I grew up with in Mexico.
I came from Colorado Springs before coming to WSMR and it was colder there,it was a higher altitude and there were actually four seasons. This is a nice change.
What do you hope to accomplish while you’re here?
I’m only here for one year so there are not too many things I can accomplish.
My main goal is to get to know the members of the community and learn to work with them so that we can celebrate the goodness of God in our lives.