I have known some really fabulous priests in my time... a few that I can honestly call true friends but none of them (except for the late Fr. John C. Silva) hold my respect like Msgr. Ivo Rocha from Tracy. And I have to mention Fr. Silva here because these two men were cut from the same cloth. (Pardon the pun.) Msgr. Rocha reminds me how much I miss Fr. Silva. It is always a thrill to walk into mass (usually a festa, wedding or funeral) to see that he is the celebrant. He is the pastor of St. Bernard's in Tracy but he is often invited to our area to celebrate masses for special occasions. Today, the special occasion was the nuptial mass of Tiffany Jackson and Danny Martins.
Monsignor's charismatic manner and his thoughtful insight add so much to the celebrations. He makes you realize that you are a part of something truly magnificent. Every time we participate in a mass, we are part of this magnificence, but it takes a priest like Monsignor to remind us of that fact from time to time. His humility is overwhelming and it he makes it so easy to feel the presence of God in his midst.