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Posted on November 27, 2007 | 9:14 a.m.

Fr. Luis H. Quihuis, S.J., 1951-2007


Fr. Luis H. Quihuis, S.J., 56, died of cardiac arrest November 20, 2007, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He had recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a Jesuit and 15 years as a priest.

Luis was born in Phoenix on April 9, 1951. He received his degree in finance at Arizona State University in 1973 and worked for a number of years in state government agencies and in the Arizona Legislature. He served as a management analyst for the Arizona Department of Economic Security (1973-75) and later as its assistant director (1977-79). He was legislative attaché to the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives (1975-77), involved in human services and unemployment issues. From 1979 to 1982 he was administrative assistant to the Arizona Secretary of State, where his focus was on fiscal management.

He had long felt a calling to the priesthood and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Santa Barbara on August 29, 1982. First Studies were made at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, 1984-86. Returning to the United States, he served for a year as director of community service at Bellarmine College Prep, San Jose, followed by a year as assistant in the National Office of Social Ministries of the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C.

Theological studies were made at the Instituto Santo Inácio, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1988-91), and at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley (1991-92). Luis was ordained to the priesthood in San Francisco on June 6, 1992, by Bishop Carlos Sevilla, S.J.

From 1992 until 1999, Luis was assistant to the President for Hispanic affairs at the University of San Francisco. The office was created to increase the university’s outreach to the Hispanic community through increased enrollment and direct work in Hispanic neighborhoods through business consulting, nursing programs and legal services provided by USF’s colleges.

In 1999, Luis moved into pastoral work as associate pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Santa Barbara. In 2001, he was named pastor. Luis was very involved and popular and was active on many fronts. He was instrumental (with Tom McCormick) in establishing a very successful diaconate training program in the area, which recently saw its first class of 60 deacons ordained. He established a parish council for Hispanic issues, initiated a Guadalupe celebration parade that now is an annual event, as well as celebrations for the Day of the Dead and Good Friday, which were well-attended. He worked with neighboring parishes to start common penance services.

Luis was a frequent spokesman on Spanish language television and was chaplain to the Santa Barbara Police Department. He even found time to teach a well-attended course in religious studies for the Department of Chicano Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

One measure of Luis’ popularity and success was his being elected Dean of the Santa Barbara deanery of priests. Local media accounts of his death spoke of the love and respect his parishioners and the larger community had for him.

The Funeral Mass was celebrated November 26 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, with burial scheduled for 10 a.m. November 28 at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. There will also be a Memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m. November 30 at St. Francis Xavier Church, 4715 Noth Central Ave., Phoenix.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Our Lady of Sorrows Building Fund, 21 E. Sola St., Santa Barbara 93101 or to the Notre Dame School as requested.

Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.

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