SAN DIEGO – Below is a statement released today by Bishop Robert W. McElroy, head of the diocese of San Diego, on the passing of Fr. Joe Carroll, founder of Father Joe’s Villages, and a tireless advocate for San Diego’s poor and homeless:
“Father Joe Carroll was a priest who made Christ’s message of compassion and mercy real in a world where we so often look the other way rather than embrace those who are suffering in our midst. Given the task of rejuvenating our Diocesan outreach to the homeless four decades ago, he completely recreated that outreach and gave to San Diego an incredible network of programs for those without shelter that radiate a profound and unrelenting humanity and hope.
“The housing network of Father Joe’s Villages is a testimony to his life work. But an even deeper testimony lies in the fact that Father Joe taught so many of us in San Diego to see the homeless as truly our neighbors, equal in dignity and children of the one God who is Father of us all. In this deeply pastoral ministry, Father Joe Carroll stands distinguished in our county and in our nation.”
About the San Diego Catholic Diocese
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego (www.sdcatholic.org) runs the length of California’s border with Mexico and serves more than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial Counties. It includes 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools, and, through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego (www.ccdsd.org), various social service and family support organizations across the region. It also includes five historic sites, the most well known of which is the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, the first mission established in California by St. Junipero Serra in 1769.