Leonel Cartagena Franco was born in xxxx, Colombia on April 18, 1957, the oldest of 5 children. He entered the seminary in 1974? at xxxx in xxxxx, Colombia, and studied there for 10? years.
He was ordained a Catholic priest on September 8, 1985. From 19xx to 20xx he was a professor of xxxx at the University of xxxxxx located in xxxxx. In 19xx he was invited to join the Order of Carmelites at the Monesterio de la Candelaria Raquira, Boyacá, Colombia.
xxxx years later, he was incardinated into the Diocese of Mocoa-Sibundoy, Putumayo, Colombia as a diocesan priest from xxxxx to present. He was assigned as Vicar General for this diocese under Bishop Louise Alberto Parra Mora from 2003? to 2012.
He came to the United States in 2012 to resume ministry as a parish priest, working with Bishop Paul Bradley in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has pastored 15 parishes in Colombia and 2 in the United States. Currently he is serving as Army chaplin in the State of Putumayo, Colombia.
He began singing at the age of xx, obtaining formal voice training in 19xx-19xx from xxxxx school. He has learned to play the guitar, piano, accordian and ?????? He began writing music and poetry in xxxx, getting his inspirations from the Gospels, Psalms, works of study, life experiences, and ?????
In 2013? he was inspired by xxxx to incorporate his music into his homilies, the Celebration of Mass, and healing retreats. This practice has proven to enhance the love, spiritual healing, and understanding that can occur when one opens their heart to the word of God.