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Father Francisco Quezada to leave diocese to serve in San Antonio

06/16/2017 | Comments

HIGHLANDS RANCH. Father Francisco Quezada, who has served in the Diocese of Colorado Springs since 2002, is returning to his home state of Texas to serve in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Father Quezada will celebrate his final Mass at St. Mark Parish in Highlands Ranch on June 24 at 4 p.m. before departing for San Antonio on June 25. A Mass of Appreciation for Father Quezada’s work as Vicar for Hispanics was also held at Corpus Christi Parish on June 9.

Father Quezada said that he decided to request permission to return to Texas in order to be closer to his family. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and one of six children, Father Quezada left home at age 15 to attend St. Anthony High School Seminary in San Antonio and later returned as a teacher at the school after he was ordained a priest on Jan. 9, 1988.

“I want to go and share my priesthood with my father, who is completely responsible for letting me leave home and paying for it,” he said. “I remember every fall, we would get into a line at the finance office and he would negotiate my tuition.”

Father Quezada began his ministry in the Diocese of Colorado Springs in 2002 at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Burlington. He then moved to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in 2004, where he saw the need for the development of an organized ministry to the many Hispanic Catholics that were moving to the Pikes Peak region. The diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry was created in 2006, with Father Quezada serving as director as well as sacramental minister at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish. He was named Vicar for Hispanics in 2007.

Father Quezada served as rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral from 2007-2013. He said he enjoyed collaborating with Bishop Michael Sheridan for diocesan liturgies and events.

In 2011, he was elected to a two-year term as president of the National Association of Hispanic Priests. During that time, he also assisted Mary Guenzel in the development of El Tesoro de los Angeles retreat center in Woodland Park.

In 2013, Father Quezada was named pastor of St. Mark Parish in Highlands Ranch. One of the highlights of recent years was serving as a Missionary of Mercy during the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. In particular, Father Quezada said that a chance meeting with Pope Francis in Rome on Ash Wednesday, 2016, left a lasting impression on him.

“We spoke in Spanish for about seven minutes,” Father Quezada recalled. “He spoke to me about confessions and how important the sacrament of confession is to people, and to be a father to them. That was profound; that changed me.”

Father Quezada said that he counts building rectories at St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Mark Parish among his major achievements.

“That is my biggest accomplishment – building a house for priests, to get priests back to living with their church,” he said.

In the Archdiocese of San Antonio, currently led by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Father Quezada will be serving at a parish of 6,000 families.

“I’m going to miss friends, people I’ve met,” he said. “And the variety of ministries I was able to engage in — from the farming community in Burlington, the Hispanic community, working closely with Bishop Sheridan at the cathedral.”

In regards to the Office of Hispanic Ministry, Father Quezada said he is confident that director Javier Cervantes will continue to grow and develop the ministry.

“I leave it in very good hands,” he said.  

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