TURLOCK -- The Rev. Salvadore Ledesma has been named the pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock. His job begins Sept. 14.
Ledesma, a native of Mexico, began his studies for the priesthood at age 18 and joined the Stockton Diocese in January 2002. He previously worked as a parochial vicar at St. Bernard in Tracy, St. Gertrude in Stockton and at Sacred Heart before becoming the chaplain and administrator five years ago of All Saints Catholic Campus Ministry, a Newman Center, in Turlock.
Ledesma, who recently earned a master's in theological studies from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, replaces the Rev. Mark Wagner, who earlier this month became pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto.
"He was at Sacred Heart for two years as a parochial vicar, so he's familiar to the community," said Wagner. "He's a friendly, personable priest."
Sacred Heart offers services in Portuguese, English and Spanish to nearly 6,000 registered parishioners and has more than 1,700 children and teens in its catechism programs. The parish runs a school for preschoolers through eighth-graders.
Ledesma, 40, said his call to pastor Sacred Heart has been accompanied by "support by the different members of this remarkable diocese. I hope and pray that I will be generous enough so as not to be an obstacle to the advancement of God's work in the community of Sacred Heart."
Sacred Heart is at 1301 Cooper Ave., Turlock. For more, visit www.shparish.net or call (209) 634-8578.
Bee staff writer Sue Nowicki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2012.