From Prodigal to Priest

A Journey Home to Family, Faith, and the Father's Embrace

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: February 24, 2023

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Goyo Hidalgo’s struggle with excess, pain, and fear plagued him for ten years. The gritty story of his unexpected redemption started after a hard night of partying in Los Angeles and a life-changing message coming from his television.

He woke up that April morning to the broadcast of Pope John Paul II’s funeral Mass. A reflection on the now-saint’s message of “Be not afraid” awakened a deep longing in Hidalgo’s soul—a yearning that led him back to the Catholic faith of his youth and ultimately into the priesthood.

From Prodigal to Priest takes you on Hidalgo’s journey of reconciliation with his faith and his family. He offers compassionate encouragement to those who believe themselves unforgivable and reminds them that Jesus is always there to welcome them home to the Church. Hidalgo’s conversion story affirms the power of God’s mercy and the deep transformation his grace can bring.

Hidalgo grew up in a devout Catholic family in a small town in Spain. He went to a minor seminary as a youth to begin studies to become a priest, but left after about five years. Once he went to college, he fell away from the faith—and repeatedly lied to his mother about it. Hidalgo’s dream was to travel the world and teach, leaving poverty behind.

With Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) as a companion, you will walk with Hidalgo through both the joy and the difficulties he experienced as he came home to the Catholic faith of his childhood—confessing to his mother, relearning how to pray, going to Confession, telling his friends about his reversion, and his call to the priesthood. And you will learn that it’s important to pray, discern, trust, and be thankful to God, regardless of the outcome.

Each chapter includes prayers for both prodigal sons and daughters and those who accompany them.

Product Details

Pages: 128

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781646802128

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “A great story with a powerful lesson.”

    “Fr. Goyo Hidalgo tells a great story with a powerful lesson: Sin does not get the last word in anyone’s life. Our Father’s forgiveness and compassion are open to everyone, no matter what we may have done or how far we may have fallen away from him. I pray that this book will help many people find their way back to the Father’s house and know the embrace of his mercy and love.”

    Archbishop José H. Gomez
    Archdiocese of Los Angeles

  • “This book will change lives!”

    “I am so grateful for this book as I know it will cause you to know, love, and serve the heart of our loving and merciful Lord. Read this book, pray with it, and then share it. It will change lives!”

    Fr. Rob Galea
    Singer-songwriter, speaker, and author of Breakthrough

  • “Honest, joyful, and humorous.”

    “Discover God’s fatherly love and patience—and the power of a loving mother's prayers—from Fr. Goyo Hidalgo's honest, joyful and humorous account. Highly recommended.”

    Scott Hahn
    Catholic theologian

  • “Simply yet powerfully written.”

    “This book, simply yet powerfully written, will prove helpful to anyone who feels lost, anyone who knows that there is more to life than wealth and pleasure, anyone who is sincerely seeking God. You will be drawn in by Fr. Hidalgo’s personal story, and through it you will learn some of the most important principles of the spiritual life.”

    Bishop Robert Barron
    Diocese of Winona–Rochester

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