After almost 24 years at All Saints Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Father Stephen Jasso is ready to embark on a new adventure. But not before one last celebration.
Jasso, who announced his retirement last week, will be honored by All Saints on Dec. 15 with a Mass at 6 p.m., followed by a reception and special program in the parish center. Alejandro Aguilera-Titus of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will act as keynote speaker for the event.
“I have given this community what God has given me, which is 24 years. My legacy is my whole life,” Jasso told the Star-Telegram earlier this month.
A native of Waco, Jasso was born in 1932 to Mexican parents. Prior to entering religious life, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955 and obtained the rank of sergeant first class.
After leaving the military, Jasso joined the Franciscan order in 1957, then seven years later was ordained as a priest. Over the years, his service and religious studies have taken him all over the world, from Pennsylvania to Rome to Mexico City. In 1994, Jasso landed in Fort Worth as the new priest of All Saints.
Since arriving at All Saints, Father Jasso’s impact has stretched well beyond the church and into the Fort Worth community. In addition to serving on numerous nonprofit boards and city task forces, he also has been an outspoken advocate for immigrants.
In a 2016 Star-Telegram article on local ICE raids, Jasso expressed his concern for immigrant families that don’t have legal status, but have U.S.-born children and have been living in the country for decades.
“Why target these people?” he asked.
Despite his impending retirement, 85-year-old Jasso has no plans on slowing down. After his replacement arrives next month, he’ll remain at All Saints in his new role as parochial vicar, helping out with both the church and the school.
All Saints Catholic Church is at 214 N.W. 20th St. in Fort Worth.