Hey everyone! My name is Gabriel Zayas. I was born in Puerto Rico and love visiting my family when I can. When I was four my family moved here to Texas because the company my dad worked for closed down their plant in Puerto Rico. Life was difficult when we first moved. Two young parents with two very young children made life tough in a new place. I remember having the same meals almost every day, but even through such struggles my parents showed me and my sister all the love in the world.

Being born in Puerto Rico Spanish was my first language and so I had to learn English quickly. (If some of y’all can’t tell my sentences are a little awkward in their structure.) My parents also raised me in the Catholic Church and helped me grow and cultivate a relationship with Jesus. Although they did help build that relationship I did not have the greatest command of what it really meant especially during college. For the first two years of my college life I only witnessed others live out their faith. I merely stood in the sideline and let others be the guide. Since I am naturally an introvert, stepping back was easy and comfortable. Staying still and being comfortable was nice but harmful. I was not growing in my faith. I would open doors to greet people in, but never to go out and seek them. I was a mess. People around me would come in and see my house dirty, try to help me clean up, but it usually ended up them getting kicked out.

After two years of being comfortable I noticed staying that way was harming me. I started seeking out the right way to live. My third year in college came around and I was in shambles, but with the help of friends at St. Peters I started taking command of my faith, of my relationship with Christ. I started to seek him openly rather than just wait for him to come in and fix everything. From then on instead of witnessing others grow in their faith, I started being a witness. I started not to just like Jesus, I started to love him.

“How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with God.” –St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Peters has been an amazing place to grow and fall in love with Christ. Now that I am about to go off and study theology I know that the friends that I have met and grown with here will always be with me, keeping me accountable, and loving me whenever I fall.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” –St. Thomas Aquinas

No matter where we go, like Matt Maher says, “love will hold us together.”

I would like to end in a prayer from one of my favorite Saints:

“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

P.S. St. Thomas Aquinas is my homeboy