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.