It is with sadness that Bishop Strickland announces the death of Father Octavio Suarez. We rejoice in the confident knowledge that he is at peace.

Father Octavio passed away peacefully on April 22, 2021, in Medellin, Colombia, with his sisters by his side. He was 83.

Father Octavio was ordained in 1964 for the Claretian Missionaries in Colombia. He did pastoral work in Cali-Valle, Quibdo, and Cartagena, and served as principal of the minor seminary in Quibdo and St. Felipe Neri High School in Cartagena.

In 1982, he began attending Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, completing master’s degrees in counseling and modern languages. He assisted at Sacred Heart Parish during that time. After returning to Colombia to serve as principal of the Claretian high school in Cali-Valle, he returned to the U.S. in 1992 to do missionary work among Hispanics.

He again served in Nacogdoches, then St. Jude in Henderson (administrator), San Pedro in Tatum (priest-in-charge), Our Lady of Guadalupe in Nacogdoches (priest-in-charge), St. Michael in Mt. Pleasant (administrator, then pastor), St. Boniface in Chandler (priest-in-charge), and Our Lady of Sorrows in Jacksonville (retired priest in residence). He incardinated into the Diocese of Tyler in 1998. He served terms on the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors.

Funeral arrangements in Colombia are pending. In the near future, Bishop Strickland will announce plans for a memorial Mass in the diocese.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.