On July 28, 10 priests in the Diocese of Salt Lake City will assume their duties as either pastor or administrator of a parish, or as chaplain, to which they have been newly assigned. In this edition we have brief profiles of five of these priests; profiles of the other five were published in the July 9 Intermountain Catholic.
Fr. José Barrera Cruz
Fr. José Barrera Cruz was born in El Salvador and attended high school there in the city of San Vicente. He entered the seminary of Nuestra Señora del Camino in Solola, Guatemala, and received degrees in philosophy and theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 7, 2002 for the Diocese of San Vicente, where he served various assignments. In 2008 he came to the Diocese of Salt Lake City, where he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish. Because of immigration issues he left the diocese for two years, but returned in 2001. Since then, he has ministered in the parishes of St. Rose of Lima, Christ the King, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On July 28 he will become administrator of St. Elizabeth Parish, with its associated missions: St. Jude, St. Anthony of the Desert, San Juan Diego and the chapel at the Central Utah Correctional Facility.
What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?
I want them to know what I am… I have been 10 years in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. I have been eight years in Our Lady of Guadalupe.
What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?
I hope to be able to get to know all the people and get to share all that I am. Share my talents and hopefully share theirs. I want that together we can grow as a community.
I am hoping to be able to raise the faith and share as a family as a community.
As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been to be able to see people celebrating the Eucharist, to get people to love the Eucharist and that the people get to recognize the true savior.
Also to get the community to recognize Our Lady.
As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?
Being able to celebrate the last sacraments with the people. Being able to help people convert. Being able to share with the community as a family in the good times and in the bad times.