Seminarian from Santa Sophia

Dear Parishioners,

It brings me joy to share that one of our parishioners has been accepted as a seminarian for priestly formation in the Diocese of San Diego. Our brother in Christ, Elias Ilotelo Rashidi, will begin his journey of priestly formation this Fall. I sat down with Elias to hear a little bit about his life leading up to this point. Here is what he shared with me.

Elias was born in Tanzania and came to San Diego in 2016. He is the oldest of nine children. His family travelled to San Diego seeking a better life. Prior to arriving in San Diego, Elias and his family were in a refugee camp in Tanzania. There was war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and many people had to flee the civil unrest.

Elias went to El Cajon Valley High School, entering as a 10th grader when he came to the United States. He graduated from El Cajon Valley in 2019. Elias has been attending Grossmont College for three years taking philosophy and general education courses.

He felt inspired to be a priest through his service alongside different priests, especially Fr. Devdas. Seeing how priests minister to people through the sacraments of the Church has inspired him to discern a priestly vocation.

He enjoys playing soccer, but his real passion is serving within the parish community. Elias has also coached the students from the Santa Sophia Academy in soccer.

Elias asks the Santa Sophia community to pray for him as he embarks on this new journey of priestly discernment and formation. He is thankful to Santa Sophia for welcoming him, and he appreciates the openness of this community toward him and his whole family.

Iā€™d like to take this opportunity to ask if we have other families from Santa Sophia with sons or daughters in priestly formation and/ or the religious life? I would love to know who they are so we can pray for and support them as we are praying for and supporting our brother Elias.

Thanks be to God for how he continues to inspire men and women to commit their lives to him in priestly ministry and the consecrated life!

Do you believe God may be calling you to priesthood or religious life? Check out our parish vocations page for videos and resources.

Fr. Corey Tufford