West Liberty priest honored


A local priest has received a national award.

Father Guillermo Trevino was selected for the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is part of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. Trevino is the pastor for St. Joseph Catholic Churches in West Liberty and Columbus Junction and is the chaplain for Regina High School in Iowa City.

The award is for people between the ages of 18 – 40 who show leadership skills, working in anti-poverty intiatives. Escucha Mi Voz nominated him for his work advocating for relief for essential workers who didn’t qualify for stimulus checks during the pandemic.

“I got an email in late August that I was nominated and it just said they wanted to interview me,” Trevino said. “I was one of the finalists for the award and I couldn’t believe it. I’m like ‘wow, seriously.’”

Tuesday, Oct. 4, Trevino was announced as being selected for the award.

“I’ve never won anything locally let alone national so it’s still a huge surprise to me,” he said.

Trevino said he feels like this award is not just his.

“This year’s been a big blessing in my growth and involvement with the community leaders,” Trevino said. “I’ve learned a lot from each of the people involved and in a sense it comes from everyone here in town.”

Trevino will travel to Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 14 – 16 to be honored at a reception during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he said.

“Ironically, the Bishop Thomas Zinkula, who’s my boss was coming back from Africa so he’s the last to know,” Trevino said. “I sent him an email and said ‘see you in Baltimore.’”

Ken Brooks, Executive Director of WeLead, wasn’t surprised Trevino was nominated.

“When the committee announced Father Guillermo won the award, I was overjoyed,” Brooks said. “Father G certainly deserves the recognition, but it is also validating for the entire West Liberty community. Father G embodies the spirit of community that we cherish here in West Liberty and our community will be with him in spirit when he goes to Baltimore to accept the award.”

Since he has come to the community, Brooks has noticed Trevino has gotten heavily involved in the community.

“He volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Dream Catchers, the Food Bank, the school district and attends every single community event that he is able,” Brooks said. “Not only does this display Father G’s attitude of servant leadership, but he knows exactly what needs the community has because he has positioned himself on the front line, observing the needs first hand. It was, therefore, no surprise that Father G was nominated for an award that recognizes people that go above and beyond in service to young people. I couldn’t think of a better nominee.”