Catholic priest killed at church rectory in Phoenix ID'd as young associate pastor

Kenneth Walker, the young Catholic priest gunned down in his Phoenix rectory was described by a parishioner as "very kind, very sweet and a little quirky."

PHOENIX, June 12 (UPI) -- The Catholic priest killed in an apparent bungled burglary at a church rectory in Phoenix has been identified as a young member of a traditionalist group.

The Rev. Kenneth Walker, 28, was associate pastor at Mater Misericordiae or Mother of Mercy Mission near the Arizona statehouse, church officials said Thursday. The pastor, the Rev. Joseph Terra, 56, was reported to be in critical but stable condition after being attacked Wednesday night.


Police said that Walker was stabbed in the rectory Wednesday, and said Terra suffered severe injuries but was not attacked wiht a weapon. Terra was able to dial 911.

Both Terra and Walker were members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a group within the church devoted to the traditional Latin mass used before the Vatican II council in the early 1960s.

"He was very kind, very sweet and a little quirky," Kirsten Duarte, a member of the parish, said. "It's a great loss for the community."

A car stolen from the church parking lot was found about four blocks away Wednesday night. No arrests had been made Thursday afternoon.

Members of the congregation gathered outside the church Thursday.


"It's like a family member," Elizabeth Papandrea. told KPHO_TV. "We're a very close community here. We're not just friends, we're family."

Latest Headlines