The Eagle Eye

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Francis the family man

Leading the school in musical worship and retreats is just one of Mr. C’s many jobs.

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Despite his God-given gift of leading worship through music in front of hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of people, Mr. C rarely listens to music in the car on the way to school.

Cabildo and others perform at XLT on Sept. 17, 2014.

courtesy photo
Cabildo and others perform at XLT on Sept. 17, 2014.

“Sometimes I just like to be quiet,” said Francis Cabildo, assistant director of Campus Ministry and Retreats.  “I think about a lot of things while I’m driving. I think about my family a lot. I think about work, especially if there’s a retreat coming up. In between my thoughts I usually think about God and what He’s trying to do, what He’s trying to teach me that day. My mind is always preoccupied — no, not preoccupied — occupied.”

The Cabildos may fit the stereotype of a "perfect family," but they know how to have some good-humored fun (especially in colored wigs).

courtesy photo
The Cabildos may fit the stereotype of a “perfect family”, but they know how to have some good-humored fun (especially in colored wigs).

Cabildo infuses passion into every aspect of his life, including his family life and roles as a father, campus minister and musician.

If you have ever been on a retreat with Cabildo or attended a worship night he led, you’ve most likely heard a side-splitting story or two (or six or seven) about his three sons, Dylan (9), Braden (6) and Preston (2).

“I always talk about my kids on retreat,” Cabildo said.  “Those are cool moments because I want people to know that family is so important — your own immediate family, but also family in general — because we as a human race are God’s family. I want to stress the importance of family because when a family is right, the world is right.”

Along with Pope John Paul II and Cabildo’s former youth minister, Cabildo admires his wife Nicole for her honesty, ability to keep him grounded and willingness to challenge him in his personal holiness.

“She is my ultimate hero,” he said, with a shaky voice and a tear escaping down his cheek. “I see how hard she works to make sure our kids are taken care of, I see the things she does at home that need to be done without complaining. She’s very simple and she doesn’t seek a lot of attention. What I’ve learned from her is you can lead quietly from the back without being seen or heard, and it’s just as important as being up front.”

One of the lessons he has learned from her is that family always comes first. Cabildo believes that he could not be successful in his career without his wife’s overwhelming support.

“I always minister with her even when she’s not with me,” Cabildo said. “The work that I do, it has to start from home.  My family needs to understand what God has called me to do. If it’s not okay with the family, it’s not okay with God.”

Cabildo shares and strengthens his faith with his family.

courtesy photo
Cabildo shares and strengthens his faith with his family.

Cabildo not only works as a youth minister and worship leader, but most importantly as a father. He strives to be an active father, in order to be instrumental in how his children grow up.

“It’s very humbling to know that you have a person who is looking up to you, who you’re responsible for and who God has trusted you with,” he said.  “Oftentimes, I don’t know what to do, but you figure it out and you make mistakes.  To be able to teach them mercy and forgiveness when you do something wrong is part of growing up as a family.  That’s what families are — we make mistakes but we do our best to get things right.  And if we don’t get things right we find ways to fix it and we stick through it.”

Despite friction and clashing personalities, Cabildo loves seeing his three boys play together.

“The hardest part of being a father is leaving home,” he said. “The best part is coming home.”

SMCHS students are quite used to seeing Cabildo at the front of the stage or in front of a mic with a guitar in hand, leading the school in song, and so it makes sense that his favorite way to spend time with God is by leading people in prayer, especially through music.

“That’s what I’m passionate about,” he said.  “I feel like God has given me something to share with people — the ability to be instrumental in helping people connect with Him, especially through music.”

Cabildo’s passion for music has awarded him the opportunity every musician dreams of.  Currently, he has two originally written and recorded songs on iTunes:  “Wildfires” and “Depths of My Heart,” which came out in the summer of 2014.  He just finished his third song, “We’ve Come Alive” and hopes to have a 6-song EP (Extended Play) released by March of 2015.

courtesy video

Mr. C may not listen to music in the car very often, but he sure enjoys making the music that allows other people to do so.

Be sure to check out Cabildo’s website at www.franciscabildomusic.com and follow him on Instagram @franciscabildomusic and his band @TheFrancisBand on Twitter.

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