Uribe and Esqueda ordained priests
by Fr. James Allen
Joyful. Animated. Hope-filled. These are just a few of the adjectives that people used to describe the May 16 ordination to the priesthood of two young Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Fathers David Uribe and Jesse Esqueda. Ordaining them at the church of St. Mark the Evangelist in San Antonio was Bishop Claude Champagne, OMI, of the Diocese of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada.
St. Mark’s is the largest parish church in San Antonio; the usual venue for Oblate ordinations at Oblate School of Theology would not have accommodated the hundreds of family members and friends of the two new priests who came from near and far to be part of the high-spirited liturgy. About 80 priests, Oblates, religious and diocesan, concelebrated. Also concelebrating was Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI, Bishop Emeritus of San Angelo, Texas. The choir was made up of the men’s ACTS community from Eagle Pass, Texas.
Fr. David Paul Uribe was born in Seminole, Texas, on February 5, 1973, the son of David and Mary Helen Uribe. He has two sisters. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Anthony’s High School Seminary in San Antonio. After two years at the Oblate pre-novitiate in Austin, TX, he left seminary formation to continue his studies at St. Edward’s University in Austin where he obtained a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Ethics. He was employed by St. Edward’s in several positions, more recently as Internship Coordinator in the Career Planning office. His interest in religious life was revived in 2004 when attending a Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Austin. His discernment led him to apply for acceptance into the pre-novitiate program in Buffalo, NY. He completed that program successfully in June 2008 and entered the Oblate Novitiate in Godfrey, IL. He professed his first vows in August 2009. After the novitiate, he returned to Texas and the Oblate scholasticate in San Antonio for his theology studies. He obtained the Master of Divinity degree at Oblate School of Theology in May 2014. His year of pastoral internship was spent at St. Stephen Parish in Miramar, Florida.
Fr. Jesús Jesse Esqueda was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, on August 6, 1975, the son of Gabino and Evangelina Esqueda. His father died in 1993. His family moved to the United States, to the Los Angeles area, when Jesse was 3 years old. He has seven siblings: four brothers and three sisters. He also has half-siblings since both his parents were widowers before they married one another. Shortly after high school, he became active in his parish, helping with youth retreats and eventually serving as a youth minister in a Vincentian parish in East Los Angeles, His connection to the Vincentians led to several stays in Honduras as a lay missionary. Upon returning from a two-year period of service in a diocese in Honduras, he got a job as youth minister at the Oblate parish of Santa Rosa in San Fernando. This led to his interest in the Oblates and his application to enter the pre-novitiate in 2007. In August of 2008, he completed a B.A. degree in Philosophy at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. After his first profession of vows in 2009, he began his theology studies at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 2014. He did a pastoral internship in New Orleans at St. Jude Shrine/Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
At the end of the ordination ceremony, the Oblate Provincial of the United States, Fr. William Antone, OMI, announced that both of the newly ordained priests had been assigned to the U.S. Province by the Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI. Fr. David will join the Oblate staff at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. Fr. Jesse will become parochial vicar at St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico. Jesse will also be a part time vocation minister in Baja, San Diego, Alaska and other areas of the West Coast.