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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Father Stephen Jasso, influential Fort Worth spiritual leader, dies at 88

Father Stephen Jasso, who led Fort Worth’s All Saints parish for nearly a quarter of a century and whose influence was felt not just on the northside but throughout the city, died Friday at age 88.

Father Jasso retired in 2018 and had been battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for several years.

Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Olson released a statement Friday on Father Jasso’s passing:

“Father Jasso served the North Side Catholic parish of All Saints faithfully and tirelessly for 23 years before his retirement in 2018. He was a faithful Franciscan friar and priest who watched over the Lord’s flock with a Shepherd’s  care.

“Father Jasso’s service extended beyond the confines of All Saints parish to men and women of all faiths in Fort Worth and throughout Texas. He was a vigilant advocate for immigrants and the disenfranchised in our community.”

A native of Waco, Father Jasso was one of several children born to the late Domingo and Leonor Jasso, who came to Texas from Mexico. Before entering the Franciscan order in 1957, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, earning the rank of sergeant first class.

After completing his seminary studies in Mallorca, Spain, and Rome, Italy, he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1965. During his early years in the priesthood, he traveled to Peru where he spent four years as a missionary. His next assignment took Father Jasso to Mexico where he spent 24 years serving parishes.

In Fort Worth, Father Jasso served on many local boards and commissions, including the United Way board and the Task Force on Racism. Several area political leaders noted the impact of Father Jasso, not just on Fort Worth but on their own lives.

“Father Jasso was a spiritual giant in the Fort Worth community, and he will be greatly missed by all,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “I was blessed to count him as a personal friend and benefited greatly from his guidance in my own spiritual walk. I know that he is now in a better place, and he leaves behind a legacy of love and service that will not soon be forgotten.“

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