The diocesan Office of the Diaconate is mourning a back-to-back loss of two servants who also proudly wore the hat of husband and father of six.

Dcn. Gilbert Lopez

Born: Sept. 30, 1941

Ordained: Nov. 13, 2004

Service in the Diocese of Phoenix: Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Havasu City

Died: Jan. 15, 2019

Funeral information

Our Lady of the Lake, 1975 Daytona Dr., Lake Havasu City

Rosary/Vigil: 5-7 p.m., Jan. 25
Mass: 1 p.m., Jan. 26

Burial: Jan. 31 in Orange County, California

Dcn. Gilbert Lopez passed away Jan. 15 at the age of 77 and was the first death of a deacon, religious or priest with official connections to the Diocese of Phoenix in 2019.

Dcn. Lopez was ordained Nov. 13, 2004 among six others at his home parish, Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Havasu City. Another 10 were ordained the previous week in Phoenix that year.

Dcn. Lopez spent his entire diaconate at Our Lady of the Lake serving alongside three classmates. That included Dcn. Jeff Arner who knew the late deacon and his wife prior to formation. Dcn. Arner recalled Dcn. Lopez’s involvement in liturgical and hospitality ministries where his wife, Luciana, did the cooking.

“They gave their hearts, their souls and their resources to the parish,” Dcn. Arner said.

It stemmed from a “genuine love for Jesus.” Dcn. Arner recalled seeing his late counterpart leading the regular Rosary followed by a Holy Hour after morning Mass and finding Dcn. Gilbert fingering each bead with tears in his eyes.

The deacon also facilitated the parish’s “Share the Word” ministry which invited the faithful to reflect on the weekend readings, other Scripture studies or studies through Dcn. Gilbert also ran the parish’s bereavement group.