TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Catholic Diocese of Tucson welcomed a new priest to the fold on Saturday morning, June 1 during a Mass of Ordination at St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Tucson.
While it was certainly a big day for Jesus Haros-Mendez, it was actually more of a celebration for the city’s entire Catholic community.
“It’s not about me,” said Father Jesus Haros-Mendez, Diocese of Tucson. “It’s about the lord, it’s about people, real people.”
In front of those he will now spend his live serving, Jesus Haros-Mendez went from deacon to priest. A moment the Nogales native has dreamed of since childhood, baptizing dogs and cats in the neighborhood.
“After today I am going to be doing it for real, so it’s like my dream is real,” said Father Haros-Mendez.
"We call it an ontological moment when there is an actual change in the very nature of the person as they are bestowed with the sacrament," according to Monsignor Al Schifano, with the Diocese of Tucson.
However Tucson's newest bilingual priest said none of this day is really about him, saying it is about the service and responsibility he has taken on.
"Having the ability to interact with both English and Spanish speakers alike its going to be a huge blessing especially in this community," said close family friend Renise Rodriguez.
"I'm really excited to serve the lord, but this is not about me," said the newest priest to the Diocese of Tucson. "It's actually a feast, a big day for the Diocese of Tucson, for the church."
Rodriguez remembers that this moment almost didn't happen, as Haros-Mendez was in a rollover accident just last week, but walked away from the crash.
"He's got minor scratches and bruises," said Rodriguez. "But it's such a blessing to see him here today."
The first step in a lifetime of service.
"I'm happy to serve the lord that's the most important thing," said Haros-Mendez.
He is not the only priest to enter the fold for the Diocese of Tucson this month, next week Deacon Justin Terna-Agbir will be ordained a priest at a church in Nigeria.