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Fr. Antonio Xavier Hernandez-Peraza & Deacons

Father Antonio

Father Antonio knew at a young age that he had a calling to the priesthood.  He comes from a family heritage that is Italian, Spanish, Irish and Puerto Rican.  All nationalities with strong Catholic histories. He was born in Switzerland in December of 1958 where his father  was studying and working in science and math research. Soon after his birth his parents moved home to the high mountains of Venezuela near the city of San Antonio de los Altos, meaning San Antonio of the High.

Father Antonio grew up on the farms and ranches of his family in the area.  He has fond memories of growing fresh strawberries and beautiful blooming peach trees.  As a young man Father Antonio studied at St. John Bosco Catholic School near his home. After graduation he attended college for three years and studied law and Social Sciences.  A call to become a priest brought him to enter the seminary at the age of 26 where he completed three years studying philosophy followed by four years of theology.

When asked who inspired him to enter the seminary Father Antonio points to the influence of his father who was a strong man of faith.  As a young man his father had been a very promising student, which gave him the opportunity to attend Marquette University in Wisconsin which, at the time, was one of the world’s greatest educational institutes for science and engineering. Studying with the Jesuit Priests of the institute had given his father a strong foundation of faith which he passed on to his son Antonio.   

In 1991, Father Antonio was ordained a priest at the age of 33 at La Guaira in Venezuela. He started his priesthood at a parish in a very poor area of the country, where he worked with The Missionaries of Charity, the order started by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  After three years he was transferred to a very large Parish near Caracos in the big mountains. Traveling from one end of this parish to service the parishioners was a two hour trip across the country. He served this parish for 13 years.

With continued political and social instability in Venezuela, many of his family had moved to join their American relatives in the United States. As his  father had passed away many years before Father Antonio’s mother had moved to Uvalde, Texas. He also has 2 sisters and 4 brothers who live in both Texas and Louisiana.  Father Antonio wanted to be closer to his family so he contacted the he bishops in San Antonio Texas, 11 years ago, and they were happy to have him join their Archdiocese.  He was assigned to St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Sabinal, Texas in 2008. He served in Sabinal for the past ten years until the Archdiocese called him to make a move to St. Joseph’s Parish in Devine, TX.   When looking back to his childhood in San Antonio de los Altos in Argentina to these, his later years, in the Archdiocese of San Antonio Texas, there seems to be a divine destiny in the path on which his service has taken him..  Father Antonio has always worked to stay in each parish he has served for as long as he can. He believes completely in the law of the church, which usually calls for a priest to serve long enough in a community so that they can get to know completely the parishioners and their families that they serve throughout the years.  Father Antonio came to St. Joseph’s Parish with 27 years of experience as a priest and he looks forward to serving the parishioners in Devine for many years to come.

Deacon George R. Torres
George Roque Torres, Jr., was born August 29, 1947 at Fort Hood U.S. Army Base in Killeen, Texas. He is married to Janice DeLange Torres and is the father of two sons, and is the grandfather to three grand-children and one great gran-child.

Deacon George served in the USAF/USN and is a Vietnam Veteran. In college he majored in Criminal Justice and served as a Juvenile Detention Officer, federal Corrections Officer, Metropolitan Police Officer in Washington DC, Criminal Investigator with the Department of Justin, and a Warden/CEO of a private correctional facility.

He was ordained as Deacon with the Arch Diocese of San Antonio, TX. May 19, 2007.

Deacon George’s ministries include the following: Past-Jail Ministry – Dominguez Unit. 2007-2009, Present: Active in Pro-Life ministry,  He serves St. Joseph Parrish as an Assistant priest at weekly Mass and Communion Services during week three. Have Full Faculties and takes communion to the home bound, and hospice. He also Ministers to local Adult Day Care, and Nursing Homes.  He is also available to conduct Rosaries, Funeral/Graveside Services, Weddings, Baptisms and Quinceaneras.