Father Richard Matty, rector of St. Patrick Cathedral, has died
The Rev. Richard "Rick" Matty, rector of St. Patrick Cathedral, died Monday night while visiting Chicago, according to an employee at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Matty presided over Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral this past Sunday.
His loss is being felt throughout El Paso.
"Incredible sadness and shock. It's just one of those things that you don't expect," said colleague Iliana Holguin, director of the Diocesan of Migrant and Refugee Services.
Holguin said one of Father Matty's best qualities was his big heart.
"He really and truly wanted to help people and I think that is what made him very special. I think that anyone who has ever met him, that will be one of the first things that they say about him. He would always make you feel that he would do anything he possibly could to help you," said Holguin.
Holguin is just one of many people Father Matty touched through his service to the borderland.
Even though she was only 7 years old, Matty made a huge impression on Rosemary Labrado when she first met him 25 years ago when he arrived in El Paso and was the priest at San Antonio De Padua Parish.
"When I first met him he was very charismatic and passionate," Labrado said as she fought back tears. "He had an embrace with the community. The community really rose to the calling."
Labrado saw Matty as more than just a priest who led a parish.
"I would consider him a family member," Labrado said. "We shared a lot of ourselves with him. We used to have him over for dinner. He blessed our homes."
Labrado said she will always remember him as a very educated and insightful man, not just about religion but also about the world around him.
Matty, a native of Ohio, was ordained on May 28, 1983 for the Society of
Mary. He came to the Catholic Diocese of El Paso in 1986 and was the founding
executive director for the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services.
In 1993, Matty was named the first priest of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
When Bishop Raymundo Pena moved from the Catholic Diocese of El Paso to Brownsville in 1995, Matty was elected as administrator of the El Paso diocese until Bishop Armando X. Ochoa was appointed in 1996.
Matty was appointed rector of St. Patrick Cathedral on July 1, 1997.
Matty's funeral will take place on July 20 at St. Christopher Church in Rocky River,
St. Patrick Cathedral will have a rosary for Matty at 6 p.m. today (Tuesday) and also will have a book of remembrance available for the public to sign until 7 p.m.
A memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick Cathedral at a date and time to be
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