Ivan was born in Puerto Rico and emigrated to New Jersey with his family in 1980. The third of six children, he credits his parents' humble witness of faith and personal sacrifices for his closeness to the Church.
The summer of 1993 marked a huge milestone in Ivan's spiritual life: traveling with youth from northern New Jersey to Denver for the eighth World Youth Day, he remembers racing up to the altar to listen to the Holy Father. He can vividly recall the words of St. John Paul the Great, "Do not be afraid...This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops."
It was that singular moment that defined Ivan's desire to make his faith journey his own. After a time in formation for missionary priesthood, prayerful discernment led Ivan to the realization that Christ's call to evangelization and service extended beyond religious life, it was a call for all Christians. He began a career in education as a teacher and then as program director serving students at Seton Hall Preparatory School, one of New Jersey's oldest Catholic college prep schools.
Ivan obtained a BA in Education, an MA in Systematic Theology, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management; all from Seton Hall University. Ivan resides in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, Diana (whom he met at World Youth Day 2005), and their four daughters. His favorite quote from Scripture can be found in Hebrews (10:35-36):
"Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of patient endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised."