SANTA BARBARA, Calif.
Attendance is on the rise at Holly Cross Church in Santa Barbara and parishioners think Fr. Egren Gomez is the reason why.
They are intrigued by his story.
Gomez grew up in Los Angeles and worked in management in Northrop Grumman's space technology department.
"I worked hard to get that job, but now, instead of building up a corporation I'm building up God's kingdom here on earth, " said Gomez who goes by Fr. Egren now.
His other career did not make him feel fulfilled or happy, so he decided to become a priest at the age of 42.
"I just felt like there was something inside of me that was not complete and I went to church."
That's where he said he found joy.
Gomez served as the Associate Pastor in Hacienda Heights and is now administrator at Holly Cross Church on Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara.
He hopeS to be bring the joy he found to Holy Cross.
"The business mantra is to make the stockholders happy, to maximize the profit. Here we are trying to bring hearts and souls to Jesus."
When Fr. Egren isn't in church, he enjoys talking to people after mass and leading church-related events in the community.