Monday, May 25, 2009

Woodland's young priest tested... shooting by officers shakes community.

That's the headline from the Sacramento Bee. Fr. Uriel was just ordained 2 years ago. This story is a good look into the lives of priests - everyday brings something different - to say the least. And it requires a heart of Christ to be able to minister to everyone involved. Priests from our diocese and around the world do stuff like this everyday! Please pray for the deceased man, his family, the officers, and Fr. Uriel.

"The Rev. Uriel Ojeda steered his pickup onto the road leading into the mobile home park in last week, one of his many trips there since the shooting of Luis Gutierrez.

Residents recognized him immediately. This is their priest – the young one who drives that bright yellow truck with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the back window.

An old man approached the priest. "Padre, what do you think?"

Ojeda knew the man was asking about Gutierrez's death on April 30. The 26-year-old farmworker had been stopped by three Yolo County sheriff's deputies with the gang suppression unit, driving an unmarked car. Gutierrez allegedly swung a knife at them and was shot and killed. Woodland police are investigating.

Since the fatal encounter, Ojeda, a priest for only two years, has become the man in the middle. He ministers to the Gutierrez family, visiting several times a week after Mass at Holy Rosary Parish. He is also aware that some of his parishioners are in law enforcement.

he incident has shaken the community, surrounded by vast tracts of farmland 20 miles northwest of Sacramento. The controversy has also tested the young priest.

He cannot take sides. Or appear to.

"Let's wait and see," he told the old man at the mobile home park. "And let's keep praying."

Read the whole story here.

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