The youngest of three brothers born in Taos, Juan Ricardo Romero moved to Los Angeles when his father began to work for Lockheed Aircraft during WWII. The boys were all active in scouting, and the three achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Toby the oldest is retired Air Force Major residing in Arizona. Gilbert and Juan were ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1961 and 1964, both are retired from administration and residing in Southern California. Ancestry of both parents is for centuries from northern New Mexico, and their birthdays are a parenthesis on both sides of NM statehood in 1912. As a widower, father José Tobias was ordained a priest in 1975, and died in 1996. According to family lore, mother Claudia (d. 1969) is related to Padre Martinez.
Padre Juan served in several parishes throughout the far-flung Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and was pastor of three. He served twice in special ministry on the national level. From 1972-1975, he served as executive director of the PADRES organization of priests based in San Antonio and dedicated to Hispanic Ministry. For the intensive year of 1984-1985, he served as national coordinator for the Tercer Encuentro Nacional Hispano de Pastoral, a consultation process sponsored by the bishops of the United States–charged with developing a national pastoral plan for the Spanish Speaking.
He has been doing research and writing on Padre Martínez since the early seventies, and authored RELUCTANT DAWN: A Biography of Padre Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos in 1975 with second edition published in 2006. He has collaborated closely with Vicente Martínez, a close relative of the Padre, and with Jesuit priest Fr. Tom Steele–scholar on things New Mexican, especially Padre Martínez (“For this was I born”). Fr. Juan maintains this blog for The Taos Connection.