By Mario Conde
After serving God in every capacity by being a key part of the Catholic community since he was a child, Father Efrain Bautista celebrated his first Mass as a priest after being ordained last Friday at the San Diego Diocese.
A solemn Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated Saturday in Calexico for Father Efrain Bautista where more than 1,000 people attended to celebrate with Father Efrain.
In attendance was Bishop of Oakland Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone who was a priest in Calexico for many years. Also, many of the priests that worked with Efrain at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico came to the Mass.
Father Edmundo Zarate-Suarez spoke about Efrain and how when he was a kid he wanted to know Jesus, but his parents never allowed him to go to church. Father Edmundo said that he started going to a protestant church but his aunt brought him to the Catholic Church. Zarate-Suarez recalled how Efrain worked at the Church in very job from being altar boy, catechism teacher, confirmation program coordinator to church council. Father Edmundo said Efrain knew from an early age the responsibility to serve God.
“For us the priests who have worked with him know that he is someone that we can depend on, he always got the job done. When he was in Rome he had more responsibility than his peers since he was the president of the student association at the North American College in Rome. The only one from the San Diego Diocese that has been president is Efrain, someone from Calexico,” he said.
Zarate said that when he saw Efrain at his ordination, many memories passed by about his work at the church and said that it was a natural thing for him to become a priest.
“God always chooses and he chose you to be his priest.” Zarate told Efrain, “We all wish that you become a great priest, that you are filled with love to the Lord and the people you serve.”
Father Efrain Bautista was sent by San Diego Diocese Bishop Robert Brom to serve in Brawley at Sacred Heart Church as associate pastor for both catholic churches in Brawley.
By Mario Conde