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Fr. Illo leads Lenten at St. Patricks Mission
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RIPON – Father Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Modesto, will be the featured speaker at a Lenten Parish Mission to be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon starting Monday.

Fr. Illo’s message will focus on the theme, “Spirituality of Mother Teresa on the rosary.” The mission will be held Monday to Wednesday, Feb. 27-29, in the church starting at 7 p.m.

“We’ve always held a mission during Lent to help convert people especially to start off Lent, so we can live a holy Lent and be converted by Easter,” St. Patrick’s Pastor Father Peter Carota said about the purpose of the annual Lenten mission.

As a prelude to Fr. Illo’s upcoming mission message, he will be speaking at all the English Masses this weekend starting with the 5 p.m. anticipated Mass this evening, and at the 8 am. and 10 a.m. worship services on  Sunday.

There will be child care available during all three nights of the mission.

The topic on Mother Teresa is something that Fr. Illo can relate to on a personal level. During the time he was associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Manteca in the early 1990s, he spent a whole summer in Calcutta, India, working side by side and serving the poorest of the poor with Mother Teresa. He later wrote a column about it in the now-defunct Catholic Lantern, the printed newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Stockton where he served as vocations director at one time. While in Calcutta, Fr. Illo also offered Masses which were attended by the nun who has been beatified, a step leading to canonization to sainthood, and is now Blessed Mother Teresa.

After 13 years of pastoral service at St. Joseph’s Parish on Oakdale Road in Modesto – starting as administrator in 1999 while continuing as vocations director for the diocese which he took on in 1997 – Fr. Illo was later named pastor on July 1 in 2001 succeeding the Rev. Joe O’Hare. Fr. Illo is poised to move on to a new chapter of his life’s ministry, that of a chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula in Southern California on July 1. He also plans to pursue his doctorate during that time.

Father Illo was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He served at St. Anthony of Padua in Manteca from 1993-1996.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Ripon is located on the corner of East Highway 120 and Carrollton Road in Ripon.