Fr. Franco Guerrero Federico most recently served as the Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows in the Lower Valley. He will begin serving San Jose and Santa Lucia September 1.
“I feel very comfortable at St. Lucia and San Jose because it is very close to where I am and feel that I know the parishioners,” he said. “I want them to feel at home with me.”
Fr. Franco’s assignment comes following the demolition in April of the century-old church after it was deemed unsafe to repair.
In a public meeting held in June, Bishop Mark announced that parishioners, who continue to meet in the parish hall, would be served by a member of the Order of Servants of Mary. Bishop Mark said the parish would cooperate with the nearby Santa Lucia parish which was served by Fr. Leo Rivero, the pastor of San Antonio parish, since Fr. Tony Celino was assigned to St. Raphael in July 2015.
“The combined factors of the declining availability of priests and the change in demographics are the reasons for this decision,” Seitz said at the time.
Fr. Franco said while some San Jose parishioners were hurt by the decision to demolish their church building, he is hopeful they will continue to be faithful Catholics.
“I want them to get away from all the distractions and know that I am here to talk and serve them and bring them what God wants me to continue communicating with all, from the sacraments to understanding their lives,” said Fr. Franco. “I ask that they have patience with us as we continue the good work of this parish.”