Pastor Fr. Fernando Orejuela (A.I.C.) evicts Society of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL
I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it first hand, but the new pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL is making some major changes at his parish. His preoccupation with all the Spanish ministries has left the ignored English-only speaking parishoners (many lifelong and elderly members) to leave their “neighborhood” parish and pilgrimage to other churches.
It’s a different parish than even a few years ago. There has always been a great need for Spanish ministries in the parish neighborhood, but now they make phonecalls to parishoners for donations to buy personal translating devices so English speakers can understand what is being said. I could understand if the parish is a “mission parish” like San Isidro Mission in Pampano Beach, but marginalizing the English speakers is a poor pastoral example.
In the past few days, the pastor wrote a letter to one of their longest working ministries, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Archdiocese of Miami council link), to vacate the premises by the end of the month (10 days away). They need to shut down their parish food pantry to make room for a bigger chapel. Not even meeting with the ministry volunteers, but writing a letter while the ministry head was sick in the hospital, only to return home to an eviction letter from their pastor for a ministry they volunteer their time on a daily basis.
Why would they turn away an independent organization that provides for the needs of the needy (with food, clothing, money, support, prayer, etc.)? Many depend on selfless groups like St. Vincent de Paul for essentials. I hope and pray the parish can continue to meet the needs of the suffering of the parish, while redecorating the rectory with expensive new furniture.
I don’t know much about who this new pastor is, but I hope his changes are just a case of poor communication and mistaken perception of his vision and direction for the parish.
Pastor Fr. Fernando Orejuela, A.I.C. is a religious priest from the order of La Sociedad de la Inmaculada Concepcion (Society of the Immaculate Conception) from Colombia. He has an active following on YouTube and through Spanish radio/tv shows. The charism of his religious order is:
El Carisma de nuestra Sociedad de la Inmaculada Concepción es: “Aceptar, vivir y proclamar el Señorío de Jesucristo, a imitación de la Santísima Virgen María en la Iglesia y en el mundo, en orden a la Cristofinalización” (Cf. Ef. 1,10)
which I Google translated into: “The charism of the Society of the Immaculate Conception is: “Accept, live and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church and in the world, in order to renew in Christ everything that exists through him in heaven and on earth” (cf. Eph 1. 10)