New priest is 'father' of four daughters

Posted Online: Aug. 08, 2014, 11:40 am
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By Leon Lagerstam,
SILVIS -- It's like having four daughters.

That's how the Rev. Dr. Fredi Gomez Torres described getting assigned recently as priest of four parishes -- St. Anne's and St. Mary's, both of East Moline; St. Mary's, Moline; and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Silvis.

The Rev. Gomez Torres, or "Father Fredi," as he prefers to be called, said he turned the four-daughters analogy into his motto.

"They bring different joys to me, and sometimes you have to spend more time with a daughter needing special attention," he said. "I've come here to make this a family. I want to make this a home. My main objective is to serve them, and help them reach God, and do the will of God."

Rev. Gomez Torres said his vocation "is to be a pastor of the people. My goal is to be able to speak with everyone in their own language."

Parishioners include people from Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, Asia and elsewhere.

"I'd say 95 percent of my work is in English," he said, adding that he wants to keep working on his French, German and Italian language skills.

Although St. Mary's in East Moline was "suspended" as an active parish, it still holds weekly Spanish Masses and is available for special events such as weddings and funerals.

Rev. Gomez Torres' pastoral duties include a lot of administration work, he said. "It's all a gift from God to do these things."

He said he didn't know exactly how to describe his preaching style, "but what I try to do is put the word of God in the light of their daily lives. It's what God tells me to say."

Rev. Gomez Torres said he's happy to be in an area as large as the Quad-Cities.

He grew up in the large Mexican city of Toluca, and he missed city life. Moving to the Quad-Cities made it feel sort of like a homecoming, he said.

"What surprised me the most so far, though, is how does anyone find their way around here in an area where you have so many roads that begin and end in four different places, within even less than a mile in between, in some cases," he said.

Despite his big-city upbringing, Rev. Gomez Torres said past parishioners found it amazing and surprising "that I know how to milk cows by hand, the old fashioned way," a good thing to know when in a new land of milk and honey.

The Rev. Dr. Fredi Gomez Torres
Address: Moline.
Birthdate: Nov. 3, 1969.
Education: Doctorate in philosophy; seminary; and business administration degree; all in Mexico; University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, ESL; ordained in 2002.
Experience: Pastor at Holy Cross, Mendota; Saints Peter and Paul, Peterstown; and St. Teresa of Avila, Earlville. Now St. Anne's, in East Moline, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis, and St. Mary's, Moline.
Hometown: Toluca, Mexico.
Family: Youngest of five, three boys and two girls.
Favorite Scripture: Psalms.
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: Jesus.
Hobbies: Outdoors, hiking, biking, walking.
One thing I feel strongly about: My priesthood.
I wish I knew how to: Speak many other languages.


Local events heading

  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.

(More History)