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State Chaplain

Fr. Richard​ Catanach



Dear Catholic Daughters of the Americas of New Mexico,

    As your new Chaplain for New Mexico, I look forward to working with you for the next two years.  I enjoyed my installation at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro on May 5th where I met outgoing chaplain Fr. Angelo Marquez.  May he be a blessing for his Holy Trinity flock in Arroyo Seco near Taos. 

    I have been connected with Court Santa Cruz #1298 in Las Cruces since about 2009 when I was rector of the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla.  Several times I accepted an invitation to offer Mass for these Catholic Daughters before their regularly scheduled meetings.  Afterward, I would often join them in the hall for a bit of food and fellowship before leaving to allow these women to conduct business.  It was during this time that I learned that the Catholic Daughters of the Americas are the female counterpart of the Knights of Columbus.  Being a Fourth Degree Knight myself I immediately found a spiritual connection with these ladies and understand very well your motto of Unity and Charity.  

    I am a native New Mexican and born on my dad’s birthday on March 7th in Las Cruces.  My dad always said that I was his 30th birthday present!  Both my parents, Ralph and Priscilla (who are now deceased) are from up north.  Dad was born in Santa Fe and my mom in a little town between Los Alamos and Pojoaque called El Rancho.  I have roots in both the northern and southern parts of the state.  I love New Mexico.  It is truly the Land of Enchantment or as I like to say, the Land of Ennnchiladas!  

    Although Spanish was my parents first language, they did not teach it to me or any of my four siblings.  In their day, they could get in trouble and even get their mouth taped over for speaking Spanish at school.  My mom, who always liked to talk, would joke that she always had tape over her mouth.  I did however, learn a little bit of Spanish from my mom like “cállate la boca” and from my dad like asking me to bring him his “chopos.”  I do know a bit more Spanish but know that I speak more than I understand.   

    When growing up, we lived in Las Cruces, Roswell, Albuquerque and Clovis and finally in Omaha, Nebraska.  I lived there for four years of high school before returning to New Mexico to attend NMSU where I majored in Secondary Ed and taught math for two years in Las Cruces and Anthony before joining the seminary for the Diocese of Las Cruces.  Since priestly ordination on August 6, 1988, I have served as pastor in Ruidoso, Deming, Mesilla and Las Cruces and will retire in about six years – si Dios quiere – when I plan to help out in parishes for priests who need to be away.  

    I look forward to being your State Chaplain and helping you grow spiritually as well as working with Rosie Duran as State Regent, Crystal Montoya as First Vice Regent, Priscilla Bustos as Second Vice Regent, Bernadette Garcia as State Secretary and Debbie Maestas as State Treasurer.  We all need your constant prayers and be assured of mine. 


God bless you all, Father Richard Catanach

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