The following is from a July 14 story in the Modesto Bee.
The Rev. Mark Wagner, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, claims credit for bringing the Rev. Joseph Illo to the Stockton Diocese in 1990.
“I met Father Joe at a coffee bar in Rome. I encouraged him to join our diocese, so I’m actually responsible for St. Joseph’s being what it is today,” Wagner said with a chuckle.
It seems appropriate, then, that Wagner will succeed his friend Aug. 1 as pastor at St. Joseph’s in Modesto when Illo leaves to become a chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California.
The Rev. Mark Wagner, the pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, has been named the new pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Modesto.
“I think he’s the best man for the job,” Illo said. “I’m very pleased that the bishop has appointed him.”
No one has been selected to replace Wagner in Turlock, diocesan officials said.
Wagner said he will miss the “wonderful friendships and the cultural variety” at Sacred Heart, including parishioners who speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. “Having a Catholic school has been a joy,” he added.
But he’s looking forward to his new role. “I love the many things that Father Joseph has established there — the perpetual adoration of the sacraments, the many spiritual groups, the Latin Mass and the many ministries,” Wagner said. “These are some of the things I would have liked to have in my (Turlock) parish, so now I’m going to have them.”
Of course, there will be challenges.
“There’s the sheer size of the parish ministries,” Wagner, 51, said. “They have 90 ministries and a large staff. It’s going to be like keeping all the plates in the air.”
Wagner, a priest for nearly 24 years, grew up in Stockton and graduated from Lincoln High School. He’s one of only a handful of “homegrown” priests in the diocese.
He served as an altar boy and began to feel a call from God during his junior high years.
“I began to want to be a contemplative monk,” he said. “Then some priests encouraged me to be a diocesan priest. I still enjoy visiting monasteries and convents for my retreats.
“I’m good at combining my personal prayer for an hour every day with my busy activities. They say if you scratch a priest, you should find a monk underneath.”
In this case, you’d find a monk with an aptitude for radio work. Wagner said that while attending college in Chico, he worked as a DJ at a radio station there.
“It was kind of New Age (and) punk rock,” he said. “I worked from 2 to 6 in the morning.”
Was he good at the job?
“Yes,” he said with a laugh. “They wanted to give me better hours.”
Illo, who is in Haiti this week leading a retreat for nuns from Mother Teresa’s Missions of Charity, said Wagner will be good as St. Joseph’s pastor, too.
“It will be the smoothest of transitions,” Illo said. “He’ll continue the work that’s been going on for the last 10 to 15 years. He’s a prudent and circumspect individual, so he will look and listen and understand before he’ll make any changes.
“He has an almost intuitive sense of people. He’ll be much better than I was at understanding people and responding to their needs.”
The two are part of a group of seven priests that get together regularly for activities such as boating, kayaking, hiking and camping.
“He’s a very fun-loving guy, very athletic and outdoorsy,” Illo said of Wagner. “He’s got a delightful sense of humor and is very humble. He’s necessary for our days off. Without him, Thursdays wouldn’t be the same.”
Besides weekly outings, the priests sometimes share vacation and spiritual trips. Four of them — including Wagner and Illo — recently returned from Poland, where they were on a retreat with the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests, founded by the late Mother Teresa.
Read original story here.
Chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College is a plum assignment. They offer an extraordinar form and an ordinary form mass in Latin every day. Their huge Chapel emerges all of a sudden as one drives along the citrus groves of the Ojai Valley just South of Ventura. Absolutely beautiful. I hope Fr. Joseph Illo will be able to help out at the Ventura Mission 1:30 extraordinary form Sunday mass. His predecessor at Thomas Aquinas College helped keep that Diocesan Latin mass going for six years. Welcome to Ventura County Fr. Illo.
It is very good to learn that now St. Thomas Aquinas College has a daily Tridentine Mass, because one of the founders of the University, the late Fr. Harry Marchoski, left there because they, at that time, would not let him continue the Mass of ALL times.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
father illo has very shiny teeth and could do a toothpase commercial with much success.
aside from that, his name soundds very familiar – perhaps from this blog?
i’m just wondering why this article in on here; althoug it’s nice to have something PLEASSANT AND UPLIFINTg about the catholic priesthood rather than dissent, ugliness, inighting, and the usual.
i wish both men well in thier new assignments!
He is a priest who was publicly corrected by his bishop for saying that if you voted for a pro-life candidate and knew what you were doing, you needed to go to confession. Bishop Blaire of Stockton said that wasn’t exactly the Church’s teaching. (My bishop said pretty much what Father Illo said.)
dear k, thanks for fillilng me in – i thought his name sounded familiar!
(p.s. i believe youj meant to write “pro-abortion candidate” in yoru post…)
Yep, I messed up bad. Thanks for pointing it out.
k you wrote that Fr. Illo said that “if you voted for a pro-life candidate and knew what you were doing, you needed to go to confession”. I hope you meant to say; if you voted for a pro-abortion candidate…
Yes, I posted it wrong. You are correct. Sorry.
K, Father Illo said that if you voted for a pro-abortion politician, one should go to confession, not a pro-life one as you put in your post above. I see you have already corrected it, though. Good.
May God Bless them both in their new assignments!!!
It is SO refreshing to see that the traditional Church is still alive in
the Central Valley.
Pray for us in the Archdiocese of San Francisco that we will soon
get a new Archbishop who is orthodox and has NO history with
we already HAVE orthodox bishops in san francisco:
Archbishop Kyrill / Архиепископ Кирилл – russian orthodox
His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos – greek orthodox
how many more do you want?
Max, orthodox with a small “o” just means “right teachings”..Catherine is right that we do get a little silly at times. We really need to stop it though, except on rare occasions since some very serious things are being discussed here quite often, and we really should not make light of them or take up too much space with our silliness.
Fr. Illo is a treasure, as is his parish. TAC is blessed, as is Sacred Heart Parish with another orthodox priest.
Fr. did you just drop a hint ?? as of this past Sunday July 15,2012 there was no one who had been named yet. do you know who the new pastor for SC will be ??
max, the explanation why you see blogging on this site as “dissent, ugliness, in(f)ighting” is that you function only emotionally and do not really rack up your reasoning faculties. Thus it is that you miss all the intellectual content, ie the actual reasoned argumentation. Granted that these arguments are not formally formatted, but yet they exist among the profundity of emotion and sentiment. You have to be able to sort out the nonsense and see the gems.
JLS, now you’ve got me all EMOTIONAL!
but of course, on the serious side, you KNOW full well there is dissent on this site, also ugliness, and infighting. you yourself have complained abou the same things, especially when the dissent is something you yourself RECOGNIZE as dissent (such as pro=homosexual propaganda or pho=abrotion prograpadna).
i realize you like to stir the manure, no matter what one posts, and that’s cool with me. you are a lively part of this site. to be put milly.
max, A. your typing is improving, miraculously. B. After you’ve walked through as much manure as I have, you tend to find ways to use it as a tool. Back in the day I would put on knee boots and tread through the dairy corral and sometimes the liquid would pour in over the tops. Other times I’d walk out to round up the cows in soaked fields and the boots would get stuck while my foot made its exit. You should try it, and maybe you’ll grow to love it.