RIPON – Father Jeffrey Wilson has been named the new parish administrator at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Ripon. His appointment will take effect on Jan. 14 when Father Alex Pacheco ends his two-month temporary assignment as temporary administrator.
Father Wilson is currently associate pastor at St. Anthony’s Church in Hughson where he was first assigned following his ordination to the priesthood a year ago. He becomes the second administrator to be appointed to the post by the Diocese of Stockton since November.
Father Pacheco said Father Wilson will be an administrator pro tem “maybe one year, two years or three years,” which is usually a period during which Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Diocese of Stockton will “see how he’s doing and then he can be promoted to become pastor.”
St. Patrick’s Parish, which covers three neighboring communities – Escalon, Farmington, and Ripon where the church is located on the northwest corner of East Highway 120 and Carrolton Road – has been without a permanent pastor since the departure of Father Peter Carota in mid-November 2012. When he left for a year-long sabbatical, Father Carota has been the shepherd of the faithful at the Ripon church for 10 years.
Father Pacheco, who was a former associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Manteca in the late 1990s, came out of retirement last November when Bishop Blaire tapped him for the temporary administrator position at St. Patrick’s. He retired in 2010 while being pastor at the church in Linden due to health reasons. Father Pacheco has battled cancer and hip replacement surgery during the years prior to his retirement. He said his cancer has been “cured” and is calling it a miracle.
“I asked for retirement but I still can help the parishes (in the diocese). I had cancer and that was the reason I asked for a bit of time off. But I’m OK now,” he added.
He will be gone from mid-January to mid-March to visit his mother and other members of his family whom he has not seen in years. He already had this plan in place before he was asked by the bishop to the temporary post at St. Patrick’s, and thus could only accept the position on a temporary basis, he said.
“The bishop wanted me to stay but I already planned my trip. There’s a celebration coming up with my family. I could not accept the position for more than two months,” Father Pacheco said.