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Former San Luis Catholic Priest Dies in Car Crash

Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson
Father Raul Valencia

Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson confirmed that a priest who once served in San Luis, Arizona passed away Friday in a vehicle collision south of Tucson.

Father Raul Valencia, who served at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish from November 2004 until 2011, died in a crash on Interstate 19. Valencia was on his way to Nogales to visit family.

Valencia, 60, was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Before becoming a pastor, he was a dentist with a private practice in Nogales, Sonora.

Valencia was ordained to the priesthood for ministry in the Diocese of Tucson in June 2003. The diocese serves Yuma and La Paz counties.

Then Bishop Gerald Kicanas appointed Father Valencia as liaison with the Encuentros Matrimoniales, or Marriage Encounters ministry, for a three-year term beginning in April 2007.

A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Nogales, Arizona. A Mass will also be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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