“We have double cause for celebration today,” said Father Gabriel Ezeh, S.M.M.M., Pastor at St. Joseph at the conclusion of Mass. “Coincidentally today we celebrated the end of our 100th year anniversary, and the city decides to dedicate a street in honor of our deacons. Today is a day of gratitude.”
The street recognizes the efforts of Deacon Margarito Saenz, Deacon Donald Burgett and Deacon Francis Roman. Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio del Riego celebrated the parish’s anniversary Mass and joined civic leaders, friends and family in the dedication ceremony at the corner of Mountain View Street and 7th Street March 22.
In February, the Barstow City Council approved the resolution to dedicate Mountain View Street between Barstow Road and South 7th Street in honor of the three deacons.
“It’s amazing to see these people in the community and you don’t realize all the things they do,” said Mayor Pro Tem Tim Silva. “That is what the city is recognizing today, men who are giving unselfishly and the families also that sacrifice with them.”
Deacon Saenz, who passed away recently after a long illness, served on the City Council from 1972-74 and was very active in the community. He was named “Man of the Year” in 2014 by the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce.
Deacon Burgett is a retired Fire Chief of the Barstow Fire Protection District. He has served on the Barstow Unified School District Board as president, and was named Fireman of the Year in 1959 and1980. He recently celebrated his 24th anniversary as a deacon at St. Joseph parish and continues to serve his parish and civic community.
Deacon Roman contributed to the well being of his community through his faith and teachings at St. Joseph for 26 years. He had a positive impact on those whose lives he touched. Francis Roman passed away in 2006.
“This dedication not only honors them and their families, but also honors the presence of the Catholic Church,” Bishop del Riego said during the dedication ceremony. “We as Catholics should be the best citizens. The parish should be the best institution in that it should respond to the needs of the community. [This dedication] encourages us even more to collaborate and partner with civic authorities and organizations for the good of the community.”