Fr. Nils de Jesús Hernández de la Llana was born in Nagarote, León, Nicaragua on Dec. 18, 1968 to the late Julio César Hernández Sánchez and to the late Rosa Victoria de la Llana Baca of Nagarote. He attended Elementary School at St. Rose, Middle School at Marvin Palacios, and High School at the Instituto Nacional Autónomo Fernando Salazar Martínez, La Salle, and Instituto Nacional St. Francis of Assisi, graduating in 1987.
He was Hispanic Minister at St. Patrick Parish in Dubuque in 1995-1998. He served as one of the coordinators of the Archdiocesan Fiesta Latina for five years. He attended Divine Word College and Loras College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a Minor in Religious Studies in 2000, Cum Laude. He studied theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and Pontifical University in Baltimore, earning a Master of Divinity and a STB degrees in 2004. He served pastoral internships at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Parish, Woodbury, MN; Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA; St. Joseph Parish, Mason City; Loyola College, Baltimore, MD; St. Edward Parish, Waterloo; and Sacred Heart Parish, Glyndon, MD. Fr. Hernández was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Emeritus Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. on June 26, 2004.
He served as the General Coordinator of the three cycle Archdiocesan Hispanic Congress (2005-08). Fr. Hernández served as an Associate Pastor at Queen of Peace Parish, Waterloo, including the role of Director of Hispanic Ministry. Then, he was appointed Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception and St. Wenceslaus Linked Parishes, Cedar Rapids, IA, with Pastoral Ministry to the Hispanics in the area. Fr. Hernández was appointed pastor July 8, 2008 at the Holy Family Cluster Belmond, Clarion and Eagle Grove, Iowa with additional Pastoral Ministry to Hispanics in the area. He completed this assignment on June 9, 2014.
He began his Liturgical Studies at The Liturgical Institute at St. Mary of the Lake University & Seminary (Pontifical University) on June 22, 2011. He completed his second Master Degree in Theology in the area of Liturgy on May 7, 2016. This degree was done during the summer—six weeks each summer for five years. Fr. Hernández served as a priest rep at the Priest’s Council for four years and was a member of the Archdiocesan Worship Commission for a three year term completing this term on June 2014. Archbishop Michael O. Jackels asked Fr. Hernández to pursue another degree in Doctor of Ministry beginning the Fall of 2016. This will be the same degree that Fr. Greg Bahl was working on while he was our Pastor. He began his Doctoral Degree (D.Min) at St. Mary of the Lake University & Seminary (Pontifical University) on August 29, 2016. Fr. Nils de Jesús Hernández became Pastor of the Trinity Cluster July 8, 2014. On May 1, 2018, Fr. Hernández became a D.Min. candidate. The title of his thesis is "Accompaniment and Discipleship in Light of Racism: A Pastoral Reflection on How People Can Cope With Racism in Postville, Iowa."