Jose Prado, one of the first permanent deacons to be ordained for the Diocese of Oakland, died Aug. 4. He was 95.
Deacon Prado, together with his wife, Hortense, were devoted and active members at St. Felicitas Parish in San Leandro, where they were pioneers in the Spanish-speaking community. When he was ordained a permanent deacon in 1986, both the deacon and his wife continued to serve in their community as a team, even after retirement.
Raised in Austin, Texas, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years. After he retired, he worked for the Veterans Administration in San Francisco.
On Nov. 19 1983, he became the 45th man to be ordained to the permanent diaconate for the diocese. The now-retired Bishop John S. Cummins presided at that service, which was held at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Oakland.
Prior to his ordination, Prado told The Catholic Voice newspaper that he studied to become a permanent deacon "because for a long time and deep down in my heart, I have been wanting to serve the Lord in a different way."
He also said, "I served him while I was in the military and as a civil servant helping the needy, the sick, the dying, the widows and the orphans obtain their material benefits, but I wanted to do more than that."
As a deacon, he served at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Union City and was involved in the parish's ministry to the sick. Later, he was assigned to serve at his family's parish of St. Felicitas in San Leandro. There he worked with the Spanish-speaking community, where he was involved with the Spanish Mass.
While a retirement celebration was held for Deacon Prado in 1997, he continued to be of service to his community when needed.
"He is remembered as a very compassionate and caring person. He did much to care for troubled people, often giving them shelter in his own house. He also helped with food for the poor," according to a tribute that appeared in the Aug. 10 issue of the St. Felicitas Parish bulletin.
Deacon Prado was predeceased by, Hortense, his wife of 65 years. Survivors include their eight children, 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The funeral Mass took place on Aug. 19 at St. Felicitas Church. Burial followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
— Carrie McClish
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