[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted issued his call for authentic masculinity, 20-year-old Adrián Inclán knew he needed to answer.
Inclán is one of the leaders of the Cristeros, a Hispanic youth group at St. Anne Parish in Gilbert, and has helped plan the annual diocesan Youth Catholic Congreso. He also has been active as a speaker who advises young people throughout the Valley to practice abstinence until marriage.
Bishop Olmsted, in his exhortation to Catholic men, “Into the Breach,” said, “Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men.”
“If you read the exhortation, you can see how the Holy Spirit worked through the bishop to write this. It’s put in perfect terms. It’s all truth,” said Inclán.
As a teenager who was active at St. Anne’s, he received a call from a group in Phoenix that wanted him to talk about abstinence. So, “I went to their parish, their youth group. I gave a testimony, or small talk. That opened doors for me.”
He enjoyed the experience. So did the young people who listened. Soon, he started getting more requests to speak.
“I felt a certain call. Something was pushing me to continue. I kept doing that.”
Inclán pointed to his parents, Julio and Erika, who migrated from Hermosillo, Sonora when he was eight years old, as excellent role models. They had been married in a civil ceremony in Mexico, but — after arriving in Arizona — decided to marry in the Church. In preparation, they learned much more about their faith. Inclán came along for the ride.
“My family was devoted in the Hispanic way: Mass and the Rosary. We went to Mass; it was more just tradition. I wasn’t taught about what masculinity is through Jesus Christ.
“When we got here, we started learning more about our faith as a family. That is when we began going to Mass more devotedly.”
Inclán is now studying psychology at Benedictine University at Mesa. He also works part time, but still makes time for prayer, Mass, and to help lead the Cristeros. He said he is blessed to be bilingual, but he generally speaks English, even when speaking to Hispanic young people, because he feels his impact is greater.
His basic message: “What I like to stress is if we want authentic love…if we need help with it because we can’t do it alone, there’s no one better to go [to] than the author of love, Jesus, who gave His life for us. That’s how we are called to love, especially as men, to do the bigger things, to always look for the better in others.
“If you want to learn how to do carpentry, you don’t go to Starbucks … you go to the carpenter because he’s the expert,” he said. “If you want to learn how to love, you go to Jesus.”
Inclán said he couldn’t have had a better male role model than his father, though Julio attributes his son’s maturity and leadership less to himself and more to “God’s grace.”
Julio and his wife became Natural Family Planning instructors and said that Inclán often joined them at conferences.
“Ever since he was about 10, he heard about Natural Family Planning, and how our bodies work,” Julio said.
Carmen Portela, director of the diocese’s Office of Hispanic Parish Leadership Support, recalls Inclán and Julio speaking on chastity at the Congreso Amor, Vida y Familia in 2013 to a crowd of about 1,000 young people at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“He did a very good job of explaining to the teens … who were very attentive,” she said. “He takes his work very seriously.”
Inclán is the youngest man featured in the diocese’s much-praised “Call to Battle” video that supplemented “Into the Breach.”
“I didn’t know I was the youngest person (involved) until I saw the video. I felt blessed to be part of that project. I also felt a huge responsibility, having seen how big the video is getting, how many people have seen it.”
Regardless of whether he’s called to the priesthood, religious life or family life, Inclán hopes to continue to serve Christ and His Church in whatever capacity he’s called.
“I like leading others to Christ … I definitely want to continue. It’s my motivation. It’s what keeps me flowing through my faith.”
— By Mike Tulumello, The Catholic Sun.