Father Mariano Catura was born in the Philippines, the second of 10 children in a “wonderful, loving, and God-fearing family”. Raised in a devout family that was very involved in ministry and parish life, it is no wonder that the Catura family has produced two vocations to the priesthood in Fathers Mariano and his youngest brother, Alfeo. They are already working on the next generation with two nephews currently attending Holy Rosary Seminary. Father Catura’s own calling came to him at a young age, when he began altar serving in the third grade.
“I was an altar boy until I graduated from high school in 1987. Through those years, I served different pastors and they had their own share of molding my vocation. What struck me most was their joyful disposition. Joyful priests and how people respected and loved them paved the way for me, at a young age, to entertain the idea of entering the seminary,” remembered Father Catura. “Thus, my family and the priests assigned in our parish were very instrumental in developing in me a vocation to the priesthood and in shaping the kind of priest I am today: a joyful and fulfilled priest.”
Father Catura entered seminary as a young man and on his 27th birthday, November 9, 1996, he was ordained to the priesthood and celebrated his first Mass. For the next 17 years, he would serve at parishes in the Philippines and West Indies before arriving in the Diocese of Orlando in 2013 as a missionary with the Archdiocese of Caceres.
“I enjoy being a priest and will be forever joyful living it out with the people whom I serve. I believe the God who chose me will never abandon nor forsake me. He is there to assist, protect and inspire me through the wonderful people I serve in different assignments and capacities,” said Father Catura.
Father Catura has been involved in the Ministry to Filipinos and has served the communities of Our Lady of the Lakes in Deltona, Holy Family in Orlando, Holy Redeemer in Kissimmee, St. Rose of Lima in Poinciana, and is currently parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Lakeland. No matter where his assignments take him, Father Catura says celebrating the Holy Eucharist, hearing confessions, witnessing the faith of his parishioners and spending time with his brother priests are among the greatest blessings of his priesthood.
“I have no regrets at all about becoming a priest. It is always a joy to be a priest… I thank God for placing wonderful and great people in my life who supported my priesthood and who love the Catholic Church. To God be the Glory!”