MAPLE PARK—St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park has a new spiritual leader in the Rev. Perfecto Vasquez.
Vasquez took the helm on July 1, and was installed formally on Wednesday by Bishop David J. Malloy. He also pastors SS. Peter and Paul in Virgil.
Vasquez replaces the Rev. Dennis Morrissy, who has moved to St. Mary in Elizabeth, Ill., and St. John the Evangelist in Hanover, Ill.
Vasquez emigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1969, and joined the Rockford Diocese in 1998.
Coming to the priesthood after earning a master’s degree in transportation engineering and working in transportation for the city of Chicago, Vasquez said he believed he could better serve his fellow man in the church.
“I realized there is a need to work in the church to help people,” Vasquez said. “I thought I could better serve the community by being a minister. Instead of doing transportation planning here on Earth, I thought I could help transport people to God’s kingdom.”
At the Maple Park church just shy of three years, Morrissy said there was an urgent need prompting his move.
“It just depends on the needs of the church at any given time,” Morrissy said. “The issue is, we need more priests. If we had more, we wouldn’t need to move as often.”
Morrissy said the communities of Elizabeth and Hanover are about eight miles apart, and combined have about the same number of families as the Maple Park church.
For more information about St. Mary of the Assumption, at 123 S. County Line Road in Maple Park, visit www.stmarymaplepark.org.