SAN ANTONIO – Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, has appointed Father Victor Valdez to serve as the new rector of San Fernando Cathedral.
Valdez was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 2014, by Gustavo at St. Anthony Mary Claret Church in San Antonio. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at that parish from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015. Last year, Valdez was assigned as administrator of St. Ann Church in San Antonio, and served there until his current assignment.
"As I continued my search (for the cathedral rector), it became increasingly apparent who the next rector of San Fernando Cathedral should be," Gustavo said. "Though still a young priest, (Valdez) has distinguished himself by exhibiting great faith, imagination, and energetic leadership. These great gifts, I believe, will serve him well as he begins his new ministry as rector of San Fernando Cathedral."
"The spiritual life of the Archdiocese of San Antonio is of upmost importance," Valdez said. "Therefore, my hope is to continue nurturing this spiritual life through the working of the Holy Spirit. I am looking forward to journeying with Archbishop Gustavo, the faithful of the wonderful parish of San Fernando and the people of San Antonio with a zeal of growing together as people of faith and truth."
Valdez emphasized that San Fernando Cathedral was built to be the center of the city and it still remains the center of the city.
"It is the beating spiritual heart of San Antonio. It is truly an honor to be named rector of San Fernando Cathedral and to be part of the rich history of the archdiocese and the city of San Antonio," he said.
Valdez succeeds Father Tony Vilano, who served as rector of the cathedral for eight years. During that time, Vilano provided distinguished leadership and helped to further San Fernando’s historical, cultural and spiritual legacy. He oversaw a renovation of its historic sanctuary and construction of the Plaza de la Cruz and prayer garden.
In addition, Vilano worked closely with the Main Plaza Conservancy regarding The Saga showings on the façade of the cathedral. He was also very supportive of the annual reenactment of the Passion of the Christ, which is an icon of San Antonio’s Holy Week observances. Vilano has already begun his new assignment as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in San Antonio.
Pointing to the unique role San Fernando Cathedral and its people have played in the history and growth of San Antonio, Gustavo saluted Vilano for the leadership and service he has provided to the Catholic Church and the whole community.
"On behalf of the people of the archdiocese, I offer my heartfelt thanks for all that you have done and continue to do for the Archdiocese of San Antonio," Gustavo said.
Valdez was born in Los Angeles on May 23, 1972, and grew up in that city. He spent his high school and college years in California, and worked in the pharmacy profession for 15 years.
Moving to Texas in 1995, Valdez entered Assumption Seminary in 2007 following years of discernment. Valdez is an alumnus of Assumption Seminary and received his master of divinity degree from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. He also earned a STB, a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology, from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.
Valdez officially took his new position as rector on July 1.