Fresno bishop’s letter to judge who sentenced priest convicted of embezzlement

Bishop Armando Ochoa requests no jail time for Fr. Ignacio Villafan, expresses hope that errant priest will someday return to active ministry "under direct supervision with no access to funds"

August 9, 2018 Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, on August 8 spoke at the sentencing hearing for Rev Ignacio Villafan.  Fr. Villafan was sentenced to five years probation.   To The Most Honorable Judge Gary Peden Your Honor, I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to personally address the Court in the wake of the … [Read more...]

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Tulare priest gets probation for stealing $300,000 from parish

Fresno Bishop Armando Ochoa says diocese using "restorative justice" approach for Fr. Ignacio Villafan, who remains on administrative leave

Catholic priest Ignacio Villafan, 52, was sentenced Wednesday to five years probation for stealing over $300,000 from the Tulare church where he served as the pastor in charge, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said. The sentence by Judge Gary Paden is too lenient because Villafan is not going to jail, District Attorney Tim Ward said. “To think that a person could … [Read more...]

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Famous post-abortion sculpture replica comes to Fresno

The powerful art work of young Slovak sculptor Martin Hudáček illustrates post-abortion pain, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation

California Catholic Daily exclusive by Dan Zeidler. The image of the sculpture, "Memorial for Unborn Children" by Martin Hudáček, has touched people's hearts throughout the world. Photos of the sculpture have been shared on social media countless times and featured in numerous print publications, but few people have actually seen the original sculpture or any of the few … [Read more...]

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“We must not be afraid to come together”

Fresno Bishop Armando Ochoa responds to fatal shooting at St. Alphonsus Parish, asks: "Are we safe in our sacred spaces?"

We now stand in the wake of another random act of violence that took place in the parking lot of St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno. Two adults were shot and killed. Following the incident, the shooter took his own life in another location. A very serious question is being raised by many – Are we safe in our sacred spaces? As people of faith, history reminds us that the Church has … [Read more...]

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Mobile chapel takes Mass on the road in Fresno diocese

Nine-stop tour to rural communities has begun, diocese says it's to see ‘forgotten people’ and stop injustice

Bishop Armando Ochoa begins the Mass outside a building that resembles a large red barn. He carries a hooked staff covered in animal fur and wears moccasins and a leather sash – a tribute to the nearby Tule River Tribe. The recent service among old oak trees in Visalia’s Mooney Grove Park was one of nine stops on a yearlong “mobile Mass” tour to rural communities in the … [Read more...]

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Tragedy that begs an answer

Fresno Bishop Armando Ochoa struggles to explain recent natural disasters

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Words cannot adequately express the sorrow and sadness I feel in response to the back-to-back tragedies that have struck Mexico, the Caribbean, Texas, and Florida these last couple of weeks. The immense loss of human life and the destruction of whole cities and island counties are hard to imagine or emotionally comprehend. Yet a few … [Read more...]

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Between Planned Parenthood and Fresno City College

In August, the Tower District of Fresno will have a new Pregnancy Care Center, just as students return to campus for fall classes

In August, the Tower District of Fresno, Calif., will host a new office of the Pregnancy Care Center, rising between Planned Parenthood and Fresno City College just as students return to campus. With double its current space for serving clients with unexpected pregnancies, the center also plans to expand its new men’s program and enable its growing crew of volunteer advocates … [Read more...]

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Fresno diocese responds to April 18 shooting spree

"An incomprehensible depth of hatred carried in the heart of one man"

The following is a response from Diocese of Fresno to the shootings that occurred on April 18: In less than three minutes, three lives were taken for no apparent reason beyond an incomprehensible depth of hatred carried in the heart of one man. Scripture states: “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves … [Read more...]

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Fresno bishop calls for prayer for Coptic Christians

After Palm Sunday killings in Egypt, Bishop Armando Ochoa asks faithful to "pray for the conversion of hearts and minds of religious extremists who exploit the Islamic faith for devious and evil purpose"

The Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, asks the faithful to join him in prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters who belong to the Coptic Church in Egypt. The devastating impact of religious persecution, hate and violence has once again killed, wounded and invoked fear and anxiety within a faith-filled community, as they gathered to worship … [Read more...]

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Fresno Catholic school to close

Declining enrollment, rising debt force St. Helen’s School in southeast Fresno to close its doors at the end of the school year

St. Helen’s School in southeast Fresno will close its doors at the end of the school year after 60 years of teaching children in the community. The school, which has faced declining enrollment, has struggled over the last seven years to cover the cost of employee benefits, incurring about $850,000 in debt to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, which has been covering the … [Read more...]

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