The following story appeared in the June 24 Idaho Catholic Register.
Deacon Salvador Carranza
By Gene Fadness
Deacon Salvador Carranza, who for the last four years has been director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Boise, has been appointed by Bishop Peter Christensen as the new director of the permanent diaconate.
He will begin his duties Sept. 1, replacing Deacon Bob Barros-Bailey who is retiring after 5½ years in the position.
Deacon Carranza’s responsibilities will include the recruitment and formation of potential deacons as well as overseeing continued formation and education of the Diocese’s approximate 75 ordained, active deacons.
The office will be restructured slightly after Deacon Carranza begins duties. Deacon Tom Mannschreck will assume responsibility for Prison Ministry. Also, the Human Life and Dignity Office, part of the Permanent Diaconate office, will now shift to the Office of Marriage and Family Life, directed by Jay Wonacott.
“I feel extremely honored and blessed to have been invited by our Bishop to continue serving our Lord, our Church and our Diocese in the service and accompaniment of my brother deacons, as well as those in discernment,” he said.
At a retreat for deacons over the weekend of June 17-18, Deacon Carranza paid special tribute to his wife, Sandra. “If not for her, and by God’s grace, I may not be a deacon and may not have been a Christian,” he said.
Carranza was born in a small town in Michoacán, Mexico, and immigrated here with his family when he was 13.
They settled in the Rupert area.
A graduate of Minico High School in Rupert, Carranza received an associate degree in mechanics from the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. He worked for nine years as an auto mechanic and later as the audio manager at Welch Music in Twin Falls. In 2009, Father Mike St. Marie, then the pastor at St. Edward’s Parish in Boise, asked him to serve full-time as youth minister at St. Edward’s.
Even though he grew up Catholic, Carranza said he was not always “fervent in the faith.” He attributes that in part to a lack of catechesis. “There did not seem to be as strong a push for catechesis because we were all Catholic.” That changed when he married Sandra. “She was a catechist since she was a teenager. As I liked to tell many of the young people at St. Ed’s, our Lord in His infinite mercy and wisdom, had me marry my own personal catechist.”
The call to pursue the diaconate came as a result of his work at St. Edward’s and getting to know various priests and other deacons. “The final decision came when Father St. Marie asked me to reconsider after I had decided against it. Though once again I felt unworthy of the call, his opinion is one I value highly, so I decided to enter Servant School,” which is the former name of the diocese’s four-year training program for men discerning the diaconate and the program he will now direct.
He served at St. Edward’s from 2009-17. In early 2017, Bishop Peter asked him to become director of Hispanic Ministries for the Diocese. He was in that position for one year before being named director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
His later years as director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry were largely impacted by the COVID pandemic, which forced the cancellation of many retreats and gatherings for young people. “Still, I have been most humbled and blessed by the trust shown to me by my youth ministry sisters’ and brothers’ invitation to journey with them through some very difficult times the last two years,” he said.
Ordained a deacon in 2018, Deacon Carranza serves at Sacred Heart Parish in Boise. He and Sandra have three children, Emmanuel, 17; David, 13; and Gabriel, 9.
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