Hundreds of faithful honored the memory of Father Julio César Ramos Ortega, MG, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (known locally as La Lupita) in El Monte June 11.

Since 2021, Ramos, 51, had served as pastor of La Lupita and as chair of the archdiocese’s Guadalupano committee, which organizes the archdiocese’s annual Guadalupe-themed celebrations, including the tour of the pilgrim images and a special December Mass and procession held in East LA.

He died June 6 from cancer while in the care of members of his religious community, the Missionaries of Guadalupe, in his native Jalisco, Mexico. He had returned there earlier this year following a cancer diagnosis.

After holding a moment of silence, Father Zacarias Romo, MG, superior general of the Missionaries of Guadalupe, told those gathered for the Mass that they were there to thank God that “Padre Julio” was already with him.

“Father Julio touched something in each of your lives, and God brought you closer to his love through him,” Romo told mourners during his homily. “He inspired and motivated something in those of us who knew him.”

Amid the fresh pain and heartache of Ramos’ passing, Romo recalled how in his last Mass at La Lupita with parishioners last February, Ramos spoke of the spousal relationship that forms between a priest and his community.

“We saw Father Julio loving his spouse, the Church, loving his community,” said Romo. “Now I see the spouse [the Church] grateful for the life of their spouse.”

Ramos was ordained a priest July 14, 2001, in Guadalajara, Mexico, before going on to serve as a missionary priest in Japan and the United States.

The Guadalupano Committee honored Ramos at the farewell Mass by bringing the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the liturgy. As chair of the committee, Ortega oversaw the image’s tour of parishes across Southern California in the weeks leading up to the archdiocese’s special December Mass and procession in East LA every year….

From Angelus News