WHITINSVILLE – Joy erupted in a packed St. Patrick’s Church as Father Juan Herrera, 31, was ordained a priest for the Worcester Diocese the last day of 2011. That joy again filled the church on New Year’s Day, as he celebrated his first Mass. He had had summer and weekend assignments at St. Patrick’s and was mentored by the pastor, Father Michael Broderick, who vested him and embraced him heartily at his ordination Mass.
Speaking in Spanish, Bishop McManus thanked Father Herrera’s parents, Luis Alfonso Herrera and Eufrosina Gil, for their faith and their son. They were here for the occasion from Colombia with his siblings, Julio Herrera Gil and Dora Herrera Gil, and his aunt Teresa Gil. Among others present were relatives and friends from other states, the diocese’s Hispanic community, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in West Boylston, where he also served.
Father Herrera, who came to the Worcester Diocese from Colombia in 2007 to prepare for the priesthood here, is to visit his native country Jan. 5-31, celebrating his first Mass there Jan. 14 at Our Lady of Providence Parish in Medellin.