By Liz Sullivan
For three men in the Diocese of San José, it is the moment they have been praying for and working towards for at least the last seven years.
On June 2, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, Deacons Edgar Elamparo, Francis Kalaw and Eric Piczon will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath.
“I am overjoyed,” said Deacon Elamparo, whose home parish is Saint Maria Goretti Parish. “I am in a state of awe and so thankful for all of the prayer and support we have received over these seven years.”
Said Deacon Kalaw, from the Church of the Ascension, “I am excited to celebrate the sacraments and show witness to God. And being able to give back to the people who have been so supportive to us is great. I am very thankful. Plus, I want to thank all of the priests who have shown great concern for us. And (Vocations Director) Father Joe Kim and (Coordinator) Cecilia (Kohlrust). Their support and commitment to us has been overwhelming. Father Joe is a great example for us.”
Deacon Piczon’s home parish is Our Lady of Peace.
“I am very excited for this day to happen,” said Deacon Piczon. “This is what we have been preparing for. We are ready to become the face of the Church and the face of Christ.”
Each of the soon-to-be priests has already learned what their first assignments as priests will be.
Deacon Elamparo will be Parochial Vicar at Holy Spirit Parish, San José, working with Father Brendan McGuire. Deacon Kalaw has been assigned to Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Morgan Hill as Parochial Vicar and will work alongside Pastor Father Sergio Ovando and Parochial Vicar Monsignor Francisco Rios. Deacon Piczon joins Pastor, Father Enzie Lagattuta, at Saint Leo the Great Parish in San José.
Each of the soon-to-be priests said they have met with their new co-workers, including pastoral associates.
Deacon Piczon said he will be leading the Hispanic community at Saint Leo and will spend two months this summer in Mexico improving on his Spanish.
“It is also about how can I make a difference?” said Deacon Piczon.
At Saint Catherine, each of the priests will be new to the parish.
“I really want to collaborate with them as we will all be a part of a new team,” said Deacon Kalaw, referring to Father Ovando and Monsignor Rios. “I am excited to learn from them as they are people I have looked up to. I go in with an open heart and an open mind.”
For Deacon Elamparo the collaboration aspect is very important to him. In addition, he said he’ll be working with Youth Ministry and Faith Formation.
“I know with Father Brendan and the pastoral associates (Penny Warne and Merry Riordan) we are a team,” he said. “That is very important. I am also very excited to engage the community in active participation in the church.”
Deacon Elamparo has had a word for the parents in the Diocese of San José.
“I appeal to the parents to check out the priesthood or the religious life if their child is interested,” he said. “If they have a question, please talk to a priest. The number one obstacle for vocations are parents. I encourage everyone to have an open heart and an open mind and support their child.”
The Ordination Mass begins at 9:30 a.m. and is open to the public.
To learn more about vocations in the Diocese of San José, please visit
For photos and a story on the ordination look for the June 19 issue of
The Valley Catholic.