Pieces of pastoral puzzle: Hispanic priests complete this year's clergy assignments for Catholic archdiocese

Several Hispanic priests new to Oklahoma City are helping to complete the pastoral puzzle put together each year by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley.
by Carla Hinton Published: September 14, 2013
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Several Hispanic priests new to Oklahoma City are helping to complete the pastoral puzzle put together each year by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley.

Coakley, leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said he had to modify his 2013 clergy assignments because of the death of one of the archdiocese's beloved priests. The Rev. Roberto Quant, 52, was pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, when he died in May of an apparent heart attack.

Coakley said the three priests who are now the pastoral leaders of the south Oklahoma City parish had been invited to the archdiocese before Quant's death, and Quant was to become parish priest of St. Eugene Catholic Church, 2400 W Hefner Road.

Coakley moved the Rev. Don Wolf from St. Benedict Catholic Church in Shawnee to St. Eugene in Quant's stead. The Rev. Joseph Jacobi, who recently led St. Eugene's successful new building effort, was reassigned from that north metro-area parish to Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang. Coakley said Jacobi is on sabbatical and scheduled to take the helm of his new church assignment in January.

“Every year, there's a reason to make reassignments due to retirement, age, health, and new priests are ordained each year,” Coakley said.

“When you move one, you have to move another one. It kind of sets off a domino effect.”

Meanwhile, Pedro Moreno, director of the archdiocese's office of Hispanic Ministry, said the Mexican priests who arrived in the metro area in August couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

He said the priests, the Rev. Gilberto Moya Hurtado, the Rev. Graciano Reyes Navarro and the Rev. Francisco J. Morales Zuccolotto, are among six Hispanic priests new to the archdiocese, which is serving a growing number of Hispanic parishioners.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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