Funeral Mass will be celebrated Nov. 1, 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Paramount for Deacon Valentin Saucedo, 69, associate director in the archdiocesan Diaconate Formation Office, who died Oct. 24.Vespers and Vigil were celebrated Oct. 31 at Our Lady of the Rosary for Deacon Saucedo, who earlier this year addressed his illness, abdominal cancer, in an article in The Tidings (July 5).“It’s nothing strange for me that I’m dying,” he said, “because I’ve always known that Christ died and rose again and we all die and rise with him. So while I’m dying, I’m also proclaiming His resurrection, something we always repeat in Mass: ‘We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection.’” Saucedo grew up in a family of ten in Colonia Minerva, a neighborhood in the northern Mexican state of Durango. At age 12 he started talking about entering the seminary, and with the “strength of prayer” and his mother’s support, he entered the minor seminary in Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Mexico) at age 16. After four years there, and four more at the Seminary of Durango, he was a year from ordination when he was denied permission to leave to the U.S. to work as a teacher.He left the seminary, and in 1970 he left Mexico for the U.S., eventually settling in Los Angeles with his wife Eva, with whom they raised three children, Jahel, Nohee and Elhi. Soon Saucedo had formed a Spanish choir at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Los Angeles. He also started to disengage from what he calls his “pre-Vatican II Catholic traditional roots” and slowly started learning about post-Vatican II theology.At St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the pastor suggested Saucedo should enter the diaconate formation program, after learning about Saucedo’s seminary formation in Mexico. After he and Eva completed the five years of formation, he was ordained a deacon in 1994 and was offered the chaplaincy at Central Jail. In 1996 he opened the chaplaincy at the Twin Towers.Over the years, Saucedo became widely respected in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for his long commitment to the formation of Spanish-speaking deacons, as well as for helping pave the way for Hispanic chaplains to serve in the challenging environment of the Twin Towers of Men’s Central Jail in L.A.Along the way he was offered a teaching position at the Diaconate Formation Office. In 2000 he became the associate director, serving for the past 13 years. Early this year, the group of deacons to be ordained in June hosted a dinner for him. At the end Saucedo — a songwriter and dancer — stole the show by dancing mambo to the delight of all attending. And as if he knew about the diagnosis he would receive a couple of months later, he told everyone at the dinner, “I am ready to go.”Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery and Mausoleum, Rowland Heights. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Archdiocesan Diaconate Formation Program, 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010.