Two international priests who serve at parishes in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois became new citizens on Feb. 10.
Father Valery Safari Burusu, parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish, Taylorville; St. Rita Parish, Kincaid and Holy Trinity Parish, Stonington became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony at the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield. Members of all three parishes as well as the fifth-grade class at St. Mary School attended the ceremony. A reception to honor Father Burusu, a native of Rawanda, was held Feb. 18 at St. Rita Parish Hall.
Also taking the oath of citizenship was Father Macario Torres-Torres, OFM, a native of Mexico and parochial vicar at St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy. He was cheered on by pastor Father Don Blaeser, OFM, and Father Ducanh Pham, OFM, parochial vicar.
U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough administerd the oath of allegience to more than 60 candidates from 26 countries.
Gary and Carol Sedlock, Taylorville, and Father Don Blaeser, OFM, contributed to this article.