Fr. Jorge Gomez
Barely six weeks after his ordination to the priesthood, Father Jorge Alfonso G+¦mez Alvardo, a native of Durango, M+¬xico, was killed in an auto accident in the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 21, in north Tulsa. Stanley Kariuki, a native of Kenya who had recently applied to the Diocese as a seminarian, was a passenger in the car. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.The sixth of seven children, Father G+¦mez, 31, was born Jan. 29, 1980, into a devout Catholic family in the rural parish of Sagrado Coraz+¦n, in Jes+¦s Agust+¡n Castro, Durango, M+¬xico. Before finishing grade school, he sensed the beginning of GodGÇÖs call and after finishing high school went to work on his fatherGÇÖs farm and later in a series of factories, as he struggled to raise the tuition for his seminary education.Father Gomez, who recently stated that his strongest desire in life was GÇ£to serve God, serve his neighbor and reach out to others through the love of God by preaching and practicing the mercy and charity of Jesus,GÇ¥ was accepted as a seminarian for Tulsa in January, 2004 and began his studies in philosophy at the Pontifical University of M+¬xico in M+¬xico City. He completed his theological studies at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, where he received his M.Div. degree in May 2011 and returned to his home parish in M+¬xico. There he was ordained to the priesthood on July 1, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.On his return to Tulsa, he was assigned as associate pastor to Father Tim Davison at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tulsa, where in a matter of weeks he impressed the parishioners with the seriousness with which he celebrated Mass. On hearing of his death, a visibly shaken Bishop Slattery recalled the words he preached on the occasion of Father G+¦mezGÇÖ ordination: GÇ£I ask you as your bishop, I beg you as your father, allow your priesthood to be shaped every single day by the reality of the sacrifice you offer at the altar.GÇ¥In recalling those words, the Bishop remarked that Father G+¦mez had been able to offer his entire priesthood and his whole life as a sacrifice to God in the mercy and charity of Jesus.Father G+¦mez is survived by his father and six siblings. His father and one sibling reside in M+¬xico while his five other siblings reside in the United States. Requiescat in pace.**From the Diocese of Tulsa website.