José E. Lucero - Deacon
San Felipe de Neri Church
I was born to very humble parents. My father was Samuel Lucero and my mother was Carolina Griego. They were born in San Jose. a small farming village near Las Vegas, New Mexico. They were married in 1917 shortly after my father was discharged from the army at the end of World War 1. They moved to a coal mining camp (Van Houten) near Raton where my father worked for thirty years. I and my twin brother Paul were the sixth and seventh born into a family of thirteen. I had seven sisters and four other brothers. I am the oldest of the brothers. My parents returned to the place of their birth and continued ranching.
I enlisted into the United States Navy on June 14, 1951, the day after my graduation from St. Patrick's Academy Catholic School in Raton. I served four years on board the USS Maddox, a destroyer ship off the coastland of Wonsan, Korea. My loving wife Rosella Saavedra and I were married on October 2, 1965 at Immaculate Conception Church in Albuquerque, fifty one years ago. We were blessed with three lovely daughters and a son. My eldest daughter Deborah had two beautiful daughters, Kassandra and Katrina. They are very special to us and we love them dearly. Deborah died five years ago. Rosella and I have adopted them. Veronica married Joseph Lujan who had a son (Manuel). Joseph was killed late one night when some horses ran onto the road as he was on his way to work. Veronica has remarried to Tim Saiz. My youngest daughter Loretta is married to Robert Martinez. They have four sons, Estevan, Antonio, Diego, and Santiago. My son Joseph married Sohaila Roberts from Canada. They have a very beautiful and brilliant daughter Maria.
I retired from Sandia Labs in 1994 after 32 years. I started as a machinist apprentice. Through the years with night classes through the University, I worked my way up the chain of command.
I was ordained a deacon on June 7, 1987. I have always served at San Felipe. It is gratifying to see the babies that I have baptized come up to me to tell me that I baptized them. I have enjoyed the deaconate and I thank God that I was so highly blessed. When I turned seventy years old I submitted my letter of resignation but Archbishop Sheehan turned me down.
When Fr. Luna found out that I was retiring from my job at Sandia Labs he asked me to work three days a week doing maintenance. I have been fixing broken worn out things and building new church furniture for twenty two years. I enjoy working with wood. I have never had any formal training in carpentry, so I do what I feel is right. I plan to continue doing whatever God's plans are for me.