Local Catholic priest officially installed as church pastor of two parishes
BLACKFOOT — After serving the Blackfoot and Fort Hall communities since 2011, Father Jose´ de Jesus Gonzalez was officially installed as the pastor of Blackfoot's St. Bernard's Catholic Church and Fort Hall's St. Kateri's Catholic Church at a special mass at St. Bernard's on Friday. This means that the church's bishop [Michael Driscoll of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise] has entrusted Gonzalez with the two parishes and that he [Gonzalez] will serve in the area for at least six more years.
"I am honored and excited," said Gonzalez. "This means that the bishop believes that I have done a good job and he has entrusted the parishes to me."
In reciting from the ceremonial script, Gonzalez exclaimed, "As your pastor, I pledge to always be a loving father, a gentle shepherd and teacher of the people to lead them to Christ."
Deacon Jeff Powers said he thinks it's wonderful that Gonzalez will be the pastor, saying, "I love it. It gives stability to our church."
Parishioner Bobbie Dahlquist agreed, adding, "I am so excited. It has been a long time since we have had a pastor at our church."
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Gonzalez said he has "wanted to be a priest since he was a little boy."
See Saturday's Morning News for the full story.