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Brentwood native and El Salvadoran to be ordained as priests by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ

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Brentwood native and El Salvadoran to be ordained as priests by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ


Brentwood native and El Salvadoran to be ordained as priests by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ

May 24, 2017

OAKLAND -- Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will ordain two men to the priesthood on at 7 p.m. Friday, May 26 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Rev. Mr. Matthew Murray, 28, is the oldest of 11 children and grew up as a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood. He told The Catholic Voice, the diocesan publication, while he grew up in a large Catholic family, his vocation to the priesthood really became present to him during his time as a transitional deacon at St. Joseph Basilica Parish in Alameda. “You grow to know people, you grow to love people; you get to share in moments of people’s lives… I am thankful for that.”

After his ordination, Father Murray has a busy schedule: Saturday morning he will attend graduation ceremonies at St. Joseph Notre Dame High in Alameda, where he served as campus minister for the last two years. Later that day he will at his home parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood, to participate in an afternoon Mass where one of his siblings will be confirmed, and he will celebrate his first Mass there at 5 p.m. Then on Sunday he’ll be back at St. Joseph Basilica Parish, where he spent his year in the transitional diaconate.

The future Father Óscar Rojas Martínez, 29, was raised by his paternal great-grandparents in a small town near Santo Tomás, San Salvador. They would walk an hour to the nearest Catholic Church for Sunday Masses. He accepted an invitation from his parish priest to enroll in the seminary in El Salvador. After five years of studies, his bishop recommended he study theology in the Oakland Diocese. He has completed seven years of formation in the United States, and looks forward to his ministry. "I am happy that God has called me to serve His people," Rev. Mr. Rojas told The Catholic Voice. "I am willing to serve Him and follow Christ, the Good Shepherd, as a model of the priesthood."

The new Rev. Rojas will celebrate his first Mass at 5 p.m. May 27 at Corpus Christi Church, 37891 Second St., Fremont. The Mass will be in English and Spanish.

“These young men will be serving ‘on the front lines,’ so to speak, of God’s church,” Bishop Barber said. “We are grateful they have answered God’s call to be his messenger of hope and salvation for people who are hurting, who have lost their way in life or believe no one cares about them. They have taken the solemn and sincere ministry of helping people grow in holiness.”

As of July 1, Father Rojas is assigned to St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord and Father Murray is assigned to Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont. They join 169 other diocesan priests and 178 priests in religious orders who serve in the Diocese of Oakland.

The Diocese of Oakland serves two counties in the East Bay region, Alameda and Contra Costa, and has 82 parishes, nine high schools, and 46 elementary and middle schools.

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is at 2121 Harrison St., corner of Harrison and Grand, in Oakland. Parking is available at the Kaiser Center Garage, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland.  


For more information, contact:
Helen Osman, Communications
Diocese of Oakland
2121 Harrison Street, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612

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Helen Osman
Interim Communication Director