Four Priests Named Pastors, One to Serve as Seminary Professor


Four priests have been appointed as pastors, and another has been named a professor of canon law at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, the Cardinal’s Office announced. The appointments became effective July 1.

The four pastors are Father Thomas Colucci, Most Precious Blood, Walden; Father Jose Felix Ortega de la Fuente, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Bronx; Father Elvin Rivera, St. Ann, Ossining; and Father Cruz Alejandro Sanchez Mares, St. Gabriel-St. Joseph, New Rochelle.

Father William Elder was named professor of canon law at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.

Father Colucci had served as administrator of Most Precious Blood since 2019. Following his ordination in 2016, he was parochial vicar of St. Mary, Mother of the Church, Fishkill, 2016-2019.

Father Elder was pastor of Most Holy Redeemer-Nativity, Manhattan, 2019-2021, and served on the faculty of St. Joseph’s Seminary, 2012-2019. He served the Metropolitan Tribunal as judicial vicar, 2009-2012; judge, 1992-2009; and defender of the bond, 1989-1992. Ordained in 1981, he was parochial vicar of Sacred Heart, Suffern, 1987-1989 and 1981-1983.

Father Ortega de la Fuente had served as administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel since 2019. He was pastor of St. Peter-St. Denis, Yonkers, 2004-2014. He was vice-charge of the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame, Jerusalem, 2017-2019; territorial administrator for the Legionaries of Christ in North America, 2004-2014; and assistant to the territorial administrator, 2002-2004. Born in Valencia, Spain, he entered the Legionaries of Christ in 1984, was ordained in 2001, and was incardinated into the archdiocese last year.

Father Rivera had served St. Ann as administrator since 2019 and was parochial vicar, 2018-2019. Ordained in 2015, he was parochial vicar of St. Raymond, the Bronx, 2015-2018.

Father Sanchez Mares had been parochial vicar of St. Anselm and St. Roch, the Bronx, since 2919. He served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph, Middletown, 2016-2019, and was ordained in 2016.


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