Father Gustavo Castillo of St. Frances of Rome in Azusa Visits the APU Community

by Brandon Stirm

It's been 18 months since Father Gustavo Castillo arrived at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Azusa</st1:city>, but his time in Azusa</st1:place></st1:city> been well spent. For a man who believes in Christian unity and sees Jesus Christ as the center of community, Castillo approach matches this sentiment. "Besides the daily interaction with our parishioners, I have enjoyed my interaction with the different churches as well as our partnership with APU," said Castillo. "Here in Azusa,</st1:place></st1:city> we have a very active Ministerial Association and APU welcomed with me from day one and that has opened up many doors for collaboration and ministry together." Born and raised in Jalisco</st1:city>, Mexico</st1:country-region>, Castillo came to the United States</st1:country-region> at 15 and attended St. John's</st1:city> Seminary in Camarillo</st1:place></st1:city>. He was ordained in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2001 and is now assigned St. Frances</st1:country-region> of Rome Catholic Church in Azusa</st1:place></st1:city>.

As a member of APU's Community Relations Council and the Ministerial Association, Castillo remains connected with other leaders in Azusa</st1:place></st1:city>.

"I believe that God put us together for a reason, and that together, we can do much more than one can in isolation," said Castillo. "It is exciting to see what is happening in our community and I am looking for ways in which we can be a part of the solution."

St. Frances</st1:country-region> of Rome</st1:place></st1:city> serves 5,000 families. Father Castillo's parish assignment has been extended one year and he hopes to stay as pastor for a six-year term starting the following year.

As a Catholic priest, Castillo does not choose his assignments. Instead, he goes wherever the bishop determines a need exists.

Following chapel, a reception for APU and Azusa community members was held in LAPC to celebrate Father Castillo and his work throughout the community.

"Father Gustavo's passion and love for Azusa has made a positve change in our community," said Director of Community Relations Ginny Dadaian. "Since he arrived, he has been a doer."