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‘For this, I give thanks to God’

Father Godinez is a new U.S. citizen

By Vero Gutiérrez

Assistant Editor

Father Francisco Godínez, pastor of Corpus Christi in Fruitland, is a new U.S. Citizen. He took the oath of allegiance on Nov 21st at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in Boise.

After successfully completing his U.S. history test (the final step in his preparation), Fr. Godinez immediately took the oath of citizenship, as recently updated protocols no longer allow for a separate oath-taking event. Father Dennis Day and the Molitor and Wonacott families were present at the ceremony.

“Now that I have completed this process of becoming a citizen, I feel at ease. Although I was not born in this country, I feel I am part of this community where I spent half my life. I grew up again in this country, where I had the opportunity to improve myself, grow as a person, meet many people, and serve as a priest during these last 13 years. For this, I give thanks to God,” said Father Godínez.

Father Godínez was born in La Piedad, Michoacán, Mexico, and came to the United States 21 years ago as a seminarian when he was 23 years old.

He arrived in the United States on September 1, 2002, thanks to the permission of the Archbishop of Morelia, Alberto Suárez Inda, now Cardinal Emeritus, and the acceptance of the Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Michael Driscoll. He participated in the formation program at Treinen House in the former rectory of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Immediately after he arrived in Boise, Father Godínez began studying English. His companions were Father Camilo García, now pastor of St. Nicholas in Rupert, and Father Eladio Vieyra, now pastor of St. Therese Little Flower in Burley. Thanks to his dedication, Father Godinez was able to pass the TOEFL exam before the end of that year.

Part of his experience as a seminarian was living with the Molitor family during the summer of 2003, during which he practiced English and learned more about U.S. and Idaho culture.

He completed his studies in Philosophy at Conception Seminary College in Missouri, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2005.

He studied theology at the Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon from 2005 to 2010. In 2009, he was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Carlos Suárez Cázares in his hometown of La Piedad Michoacán. On June 10, 2010, he and four others were ordained priests by Bishop Michael Driscoll at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Boise.

In his first assignment as a priest from 2010 to 2012, he was a parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish in Coeur d´Alene, where Fr. Roger LaChance was pastor.

From 2012 to 2013, he was parish administrator of St. Mary Immaculate in Saint Maries, Idaho, and from 2013 to 2015, he was made parish administrator at St. Nicholas in Rupert. Bishop Peter Christensen appointed him pastor of St. Nicholas in Rupert where Fr. Godinez served from 2015 to 2021.

While still in this position at Saint Nicholas, Father Godínez was asked to study Canon Law, and Father Gabriel Morales oversaw the parish in his absence.

In 2018, Fr. Godinez completed his studies in Canon Law, having earned a master’s degree from Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. Bishop Christensen appointed him as a Diocesan judge for matrimonial matters and a promoter of justice in individual cases for clergy.

In 2021, Father Godinez was appointed pastor of Corpus Christi in Fruitland, in addition to his Tribunal duties.

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