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Sacred Heart Church members reflect on Bishop Tafoya's legacy - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Sacred Heart Church members reflect on Bishop Tafoya's legacy

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PUEBLO -

The Pueblo Catholic Diocese is coping tonight with the passing of longtime former Bishop Arthur Tafoya.

"He was very very much in love with his people," said Deborah Rendon, Director of Music for the Pueblo Diocese.

Bishop Arthur Tafoya led the Pueblo Diocese for 29 years.

He passed at at his home in Albuquerque Saturday morning, according to the diocese.

But his beloved space carries his legacy.

"This cathedral was his love," said Rendon.

Bishop Tafoya helped Rendon obtain a brand new organ for her to use at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo.

"You need a good instrument to help your people sing and I think that's the legacy is that the people here at the cathedral and throughout the diocese worship very well and that's a lot due to him," said Rendon.

Those who worked closely with him describe him as pastoral, remembering his leadership as being inclusive of everyone when it came to his decision-making.

"We all thrived under him and he just was an easy man to love and to work for. He'll always be in my heart," remarked Phillys King, who worked with Bishop Tafoya for eight years.

The friends who Bishop Tafoya took under his wing say his passing in time for the holy week leading up to Easter is fitting of a man who brought new life and joy to this cherished cathedral.

"I thought immediately of him on the third verse. I'll sing and joyful be and through eternity, I'll sing on." said Rendon. "That was Bishop Tefoya."

During his leadership from 1980 to 2009, the Pueblo Diocese (which covers the entire southern one-third of Colorado) built  two new churches and remodeled churches in five cities, including the Sacred Heart Church in Pueblo.

Former Bishop Arthur Tafoya was 85 years old.

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