Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Priest Escapes To Desert After "The List" Dwindles To Nine
A priest assigned to Sts. Peter and Paul's Church in Palo Baja, California, Fr. Juan Valenzuela, left a note outside his rectory that given his personal list of 10 innocent people within the parish had dwindled to nine, he was heading for the desert to escape the coming wrath.
"Fr. Valenzuela always had this list he referred to in a notebook, tucked in a shirt pocket," explained parish secretary Jeanne Tripoli. "Occasionally he'd pull it out and cross out things when we'd update parish records. I never asked what it was about--I assumed it was a to-do list or groceries or something."
Pastoral Associate Mary Kate Berlinger added, "There was an incident a week ago where we discovered that an eight year old helping his father with hospitality took out from the collection plate for Pokemon cards. Father Juan was very upset, of course, but I thought his reaction was quite panicked at the time. Maybe that put the list over the edge."
Fr. Valenzuela, last seen pitching a tent on a mesa, could not be persuaded to comment.