In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Fr. Alonso's honor to the Saint Mary's Food Bank and the Franciscan Renewal Center.
We invite you to share your memories and messages with us. Fr. Alonso had a profound impact on the lives of so many. By sharing these stories, we continue the good work he started. Please feel free to post your memories on our website.
We know that for the faithful, life is changed, not ended. Fr. Alonso is living in all good and peace with our God who he served for so many years. The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without property and in chastity. May our brother, who promised to observe all this, be filled in heaven with the blessing of the most high Father.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Alonso de Blas arrived in Phoenix before his 11th birthday, living across Monroe Street from St. Mary's Basilica. He completed high school in 1956 at the Seminary at Santa Barbara, CA. He then studied four years of philosophy at San Luis Rey College with a year of Novitiate at Old Mission San Miguel, where he ultimately received the habit and became Br. Alonso. Then following four years of theology, he was ordained a priest on December 19, 1964 at San Roque Church in Santa Barbara. He spent a year doing practical theology-in-residence at St. Mary's Church in downtown Stockton, CA, then came back to Santa Barbara for his first official appointment: 8 years teaching at Bishop Garcia Diego Catholic High School. His second assignment brought him back to Phoenix to teach at the now co-ed St. Mary's High School. He spent 16 happy years teaching Spanish and Religion there at all levels. In 1991, he was called to his third assignment: the Franciscan Renewal Center, where he discovered he was still teaching - just to adults now. In 2000, a fourth job came: 9 years back at downtown St. Mary's Basilica, now as associate pastor with Fr. Vince Mesi, Rector. Finally, 2009 brought another return to the Renewal Center on a retired-but-available basis. He passed peacefully into eternal life on the morning of March 6, 2015. He is survived by his brother Romualdo de Blas and his sister Teresa Mulligan. He was a giant presence and a larger-than-life personality that will live in our memories and in the memories of all those he touched through his teaching, preaching, presence and service.
Merciful Father, we commend our brother into your hands. We return to you the gift you have given us in his life among us and in the service of your people. We thank you for all that you have done for him and for all you have done for us through him. Welcome him into Your kingdom. Comfort us who remain in this life. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope of sharing eternal life with him, and deepen our love. We make this prayer through your Son Jesus who is our resurrection and life.