By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published July 16, 2009
Affectionately called “Nacho” by his friends and Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Father Ignacio Morales Solis is quick with a smile.
After some 16 years in classrooms studying at seminary, the Mexican native fulfilled a dream by being among the eight men ordained in June as priests for the Atlanta Archdiocese.
“Don’t you think it is time I finished,” Father Morales joked.
He is also the youngest man among the new priests. He is 31.
The youngest of nine children, the son of Isidro Morales and the late Ascencion Solis Lopez, Father Morales grew up in a rural town in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, some 130 miles from Guadalajara, the nearest big city. His father worked as a farmer raising crops.
Following his ordination, the new priest planned to spend most of July in his native country, celebrating his first Mass in his hometown of Irapuato.
Father Morales attended the diocesan seminary in Morelia as a teen and then attended the Pontifical University of Mexico where he earned a degree in sacred theology, with highest honors. He lived in Atlanta for some time to study English at Georgia State University and also studied at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana.
An influence to attend the seminary as a young person grew out of attending Mass frequently with his family, he said. Father Morales said the work done by priests appealed to him.
And while attending seminary, the fascination deepened and touched his heart, he said.
“That’s where I really, really fell in love with the priesthood,” he said.
When he is not doing parish work, Father Morales likes to relax by reading, playing soccer and running.
As a seminarian he worked at St. Stephen the Martyr Church, Lilburn, St. Clement Church, Calhoun, St. Mathew Church, Tyrone, and St. Mary Church, Rome. As a transitional deacon, he served at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Dallas. He has a particular interest in working in hospitals and teaching the faith.
First Assignment: Prince of Peace Church, Flowery Branch
Father Ignacio Morales Solis
Education: High school and philosophy studies at Seminario Diocesano de Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. Baccalaureate in sacred theology, summa cum laude, at Pontifical University of Mexico, Mexico City.
Hobbies and Interests: Reading, soccer, running
Particular Ministries of Interest: Hospital and teaching