Fr. Juan Jose Huitrado Dies
Priest Was Leader in Developing Hispanic Ministries
Chicago, IL (April 22, 2004) - Fr. Juan Jose Huitrado, a Mexican-born priest who became a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago after serving in a missionary order, died suddenly Thursday, April 22. He was 50 years old. Fr. Huitrado, who was known for developing programs for Hispanic lay ministries, was on a break from studies in Mexico and was visiting Chicago at the time of his death.
Fr. Huitrado was instrumental in creating institutes of formation for Hispanic Catholics and for improving Hispanic ministry in Chicago. He was the Associate Director from 1985-1994 of the Instituto De Liderazgo Pastoral, which sponsors Hispanic programs for lay ministry and for the permanent diaconate. He was an advisor to the Oscar Romero Scholarship Fund that assists Hispanic leaders in church ministry earn master degrees at Catholic Theological Union (CTU). Fr. Huitrado was a part-time instructor in Hispanic Ministry at CTU and taught briefly at the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. He was also an advisor to the Office of Catechesis and is perhaps best known for developing programs and Hispanic leaders in this area of ministry.
As a member of the Hispanic Caucus, a former association of priests established to organize and improve Hispanic ministry in Chicago, Fr. Huitrado was instrumental in establishing the annual Christmas Posada at Holy Name Cathedral, a reenactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph that drew thousands of participants.
A native of Zacatecas, Mexico, Fr. Huitrado was ordained in 1980 as a member of the Comboni Missionaries, a religious order of men who do mission work in Africa and the Americas. After ordination, he was made Vocation Director of the Comboni Missionaries in Chicago, a position he held for four years.
For six years, beginning in 1984, Fr. Huitrado was the administrator and then pastor of St. Vitus Parish, which is now closed. He was in residence for four years at Epiphany Parish on the city's west side beginning in 1990, and was associate pastor there from 1994 to 1996.
Fr. Huitrado served as pastor of St. Roman Parish, also on the west side, from 1996 until the fall of 2000, when he began postgraduate studies at the Pontifical University in Mexico. He was still pursuing his studies there at the time of his death.
Visitation for Fr. Huitrado will take place on Friday, April 23, from 2 to 9 p.m. at St. Roman Parish, 2311 S. Washtenaw Ave., Chicago, and on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Tepeyac Church, 2226 South Whipple. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., will be the main celebrant at a Mass for Fr. Huitrado at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Tepeyac Church. Burial will be in Mexico.
Fr. Huitrado is survived by his parents, Ventura and Agustina Huitrado, and eight siblings, all residing Mexico.