Bishop Emeritus Tafoya ordains Theatine priest

By Maxine McCue
Theatine Deacon Francisco Diaz, C.R., was ordained to the priesthood at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cortez on September 14. Deacon Diaz requested this feast of the Exalation of the Holy Cross, the 491st birthday of the Theatine Order, founded by St.Cajetan in Rome for his ordination to the priesthood.

Deacon Francisco Javier Diaz Moreno is very proud of his name. He was born 40 days after the death of his paternal grandfather for whom he was named. He is the oldest of six children, three boys and three girls. From the age of five, he has been devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe who assisted him in discerning his vocation.

He obtained his first degree in business administration, working for multiple businesses after graduation. Then he taught courses for five or six years at the university. At the age of 35 he decided to study for the diocesan priesthood in Texcoco, Mexico. One of his classmates told Diaz about the Theatine Community of Clerks Regular and their community life so Diaz attended a week-long retreat with his classmate. Diaz was very attracted to their way of life and their founder, St. Cajetan. Deacon Diaz spent his Novitiate year in Argentina. He then moved to John Vianney Seminary in Denver where he took a few courses, especially learning English. He met the Father General at the chapter sessions. The Father General invited Diaz to Rome for three years of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. After completing these studies, Diaz returned to Mexico City, where he was ordained a deacon by the Theatine Bishop from Brazil. He spent two months there with his family for vacation and while waiting to obtain a visa to return to the U.S.

Diaz has been described as “quiet,” “shy,” and a man who “loves to read.” He continues to struggle with English even though he gives his homilies twice a week in English. He sometimes still breaks into Spanish to express his feelings as he did the night of his ordination while thanking Bishop Emeritus Arthur Tafoya, his provincial superior, Father Heriberto, C.R. from San Luis, and Father Pat Valdez, C.R., the pastor of the multiple churches called the Montelores Catholic Community.

Nine Theatine priests and 15 novices/seminarians attended the first ordination ceremony ever held in Cortez.

Currently, Diaz is the assistant novice master to Father Heriberto with the 13 Theatine seminarians studying at San Luis, but is looking forward to working in a parish with the people.