Plum City church welcomes a new priest
PLUM CITY - Reverend Junabe Villapaz officially started at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plum City on July 6. The La Crosse archdiocese assigned him here after more than three months of training and orientation at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sparta Wis.
Reverend Villapaz goes by “JoJo” and is originally from the Diocese of Pagadian, Zamboanga in the Philippines. September will mark his 11th year of being a priest as he was ordained Sept. 21, 2010, and he says that this is something he was called to do at a young age.
“When I was younger, I always went to church with my parents and was involved in many church activities,” Villapaz said. “Along my faith journey I realized this was something I really wanted to do.”
Joining the priesthood is a decision of which Villapaz has always been proud.
“It was a calling, I love being a priest and teaching God’s sacraments,” he said.
Villapaz is excited to be serving Saint John the Baptist.
“Plum City is a vibrant Catholic community, and I am looking forward to serving the community to the best of my ability and capacity. God has done a lot of good things here and I am excited to serve and respond to the need in this parish,” he said.
The La Crosse archdiocese assigns priests to churches across the state. The previous priest, Father Joseph Okine-Quartey, has returned home to the Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. After the vacancy was established in Plum City Father Villapaz was assigned.
“I hope to continue what the previous priest started in this community, and I want to serve the people,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Father Janebe VIllapaz