Biography of Rev. Joseph Montes de Oca
Father Joseph Montes de Oca, (Padre Jose de Jesus Montes de Oca), who was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark in 1996, will begin his ministry here at St. Catherine of Siena Parish on September 1, 2020.
Father Joseph is a U.S. Citizen. He immigrated to the USA in 1990. He is the oldest of four children and is the son of Hilarioand Edith Montes de Oca.
Father Joseph speaks three languages: English, Italian, and Spanish and reads basic academic German and Portuguese. He is, however, learning to speak Portuguese.
Some of his past assignments are as follows:
Holy Redeemer, West New York (2017 – 2020)
Our Lady of the Visitation, Paramus (1999-2001 and 2009 – 2017)
St. Aloysius, Jersey City (2003-2007)
Father Joseph also served as a missionary priest in Estonia for two years (1997 – 1999).
He holds three master’s degrees (Systematic Theology, Jewish-Christian Studies, and Philosophy). He is currently working on his Doctoral dissertation, “Ontophany and Wisdom Christology in the Theology of Walter Cardinal Kasper”.
Father has worked in many pastoral areas including Social Justice, Liturgy, Director of Religious Education, Youth Group Chaplain, Pre-Cana and is a former Coordinator for Hispanic Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark.
Father has an eclectic taste in music from Rock (U2, Guns and Roses, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith) to Country (Tim McGraw & Carrie Underwood) to American classics, i.e., Frank Sinatra & Tony Bennett; Latin Music including Roberto Carlos Braga.
In regards to Sports, Father is a big fan of football (“Go Patriots!” and Notre Dame); College basketball and soccer. He loves Italian Pasta, Brazilian Picanha, and Colombian Arepas con Carne Asada.
When asked about his heroes, his response is always the same:
“My only heroes are all the parishioners in every parish I have served. Why? Because of the many lessons I have learned from their courageous determination to face the concrete challenges of their daily life; their unconditional love for their families (especially the numberless sacrifices they make for their children); and their real non-presumptuous, no-nonsense and very down to earth relationship with God.”
Father’s special message to the parishioners of St. Catherine’s is as follows:
“In our shared journey as followers of Christ, some few times, I expect to walk a little bit ahead of you, some other times to walk behind you; some few times I will stop and wait for you, many times I will run and try to catch up with you; sometimes I might even carry you; but I will never consider myself above you, and always hope to share the same journey with you.”
Welcome, Father Joseph!
Many blessings to you and your ministry here at St. Catherine’s.