Fr. Roberto Corral, O.P.
I was born in 1954, the youngest of seven children, six boys and one girl. After having five boys in a row, my parents decided to call it quits with me! My siblings and I were born in southern California and everyone but me is married and has children. Presently I have 20+ nephews and nieces and 20+ grand nephews and nieces, and there’s no end in sight. I have been surrounded with love and support all my life by my wonderful, large family. And I have been blessed to be the “family priest,” celebrating countless family weddings, baptisms and funerals through the years.
My parents were both born in Mexico--my father in Magdalena, Sonora and my mother in Torreón, Coahuila, and I inherited a great appreciation for my Mexican heritage and its music from my early years. Since the early 1900s many musicians, singers and dancers have graced my immediate and extended families in southern California. My father, uncles, and older cousins formed a group called the José Arias Troubadours and achieved quite a level of fame, appearing in movies and TV programs and at cultural events for almost ninety years, including the annual Ramona Pageant in Hemet, CA. (Check out their website at www.ariastroubadours.com.)
I went to St. Alphonsus Grammar School, Archbishop Cantwell High school and Occidental College, all in the Los Angeles area. It was in college that I first met the Dominicans, entering the Order in August 1980 and being ordained in 1988. My assignments thus far have been:
1988-1991 – Parochial Vicar, All Saints Newman Center, Arizona State University, Tempe
1991-1995 – Parochial Vicar, Holy Rosary, Antioch
1995-1999 – Pastor, St. Dominic’s, San Francisco
1999-2003 – Pastor, Most Holy Trinity, Phoenix
2003-2007 – Provincial Superior of the Dominicans in the Western US
2008-2018 – Pastor, Holy Rosary, Antioch
2018-2019 – Parochial Vicar, Blessed Sacrament, Seattle
2019-2022 – Pastor, St. Dominic’s, Los Angeles
2022 (Oct.)-present – Pastor, Santa María de Guadalupe, Mexicali
My favorite aspects of the priesthood are preaching and presiding at Mass; walking over to the parish school and giving and receiving hugs from the kids; trying to explain the faith to someone who is spiritually hungry; hearing a sincere penitent in confession; and singing and dancing at parish social events. I also enjoy exercise, chess, reading and listening to audiobooks (especially murder mysteries and spy thrillers), watching movies and sports, and listening to music.
I am happy to be here in Mexicali, interacting with poor but generous and faith-filled parishioners as I learn and implement what it is to be a missionary while also deepening my understanding of my Mexican heritage. I look forward to what God has in store for me here. Thanks to all of you who support our missionary work in various countries. May the Lord reward your generosity and goodness.