Deacon Bienvenido “Benny” DeJesus died Aug. 14, 2022. He was 72.
“He was just a phenomenal man,” remarked Father Robert Werth, who served with Deacon DeJesus at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Rochester for more than a decade.
Deacon DeJesus was born in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. He became a math teacher and taught in Arroyo before moving to Rochester in 1983. He taught middle-school math to bilingual students in the Rochester City School District for more than 20 years before discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate.
Bishop Matthew H. Clark ordained Deacon DeJesus May 31, 2008, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. After his ordination, Deacon DeJesus was assigned to minister at his home parish, Our Lady of the Americas in Rochester. In late 2010, Our Lady of the Americas became part of the newly formed St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish, and Deacon DeJesus served there until shortly before he passed away, Father Werth said.
“The past couple times, he preached from his wheelchair. He was a great preacher,” Father Werth said.
Deacon DeJesus had a strong relationship with God and worked hard to help others strengthen their own prayer lives, Father Werth said. He did a lot with the Hispanic Catholic community in Rochester, led daily prayer sessions via Zoom and will be greatly missed by the entire St. Frances Xavier Parish community, Father Werth added.
“He was a very gentle soul who was so prayerful and confident in his relationship with the Lord,” he said.
Deacon DeJesus is survived by his wife, Priscila; children, Eliezer (Amy) and Ivelisse (Luis); grandchildren, Julian, April, Gina, Kevin, Priscila and Hector; brother, Remigio; and sister, Epifania.
Calling hours will take place Aug. 19, 2022, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Corpus Christi Church, located at 864 E. Main St. in Rochester. Deacon DeJesus’ funeral liturgy will take place Aug. 20, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi Church. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.
Donations in Deacon DeJesus’ memory may be made to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish, 80 Prince St., Rochester, NY 14605.