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Pastor Fr. Fernando Orejuela (A.I.C.) evicts Society of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL

July 14, 2014 4 comments

St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FLI 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.     

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

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. 

Fr. Fernando Orejuela, A.I.C.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)

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volunteering @ Convenant House

August 8, 2007 1 comment

Convenant HouseI went for a volunteer interview at Convenant House (shelter for runaway teens) today.  It looks like a great place for kids.  They have 100+ bed capacity with kids of all different backgrounds.  I noted I was interested in the pastoral ministry they have, but was open to whatever area they could use me for.  The big question?  My schedule.  I know seminary life is primary, but I would like to challenge my ministry experience to try to be “all things to all people,” as the priesthood entails.  Covenant House was started by a Catholic priest and I really like the mission statement:

Mission Statement: We who recognize God’s providence and fidelity to His people are dedicated to living out His covenant among ourselves and those children we serve, with absolute respect and unconditional love.  That commitment calls us to serve suffering children of the street, and to protect and safeguard all children.  Just as Christ in His humanity is the visible sign of God’s presence among His people, so our efforts together in the covenant community are a visible sign that effects the presence of God, working through the Holy Spirit among ourselves and our kids.

The kids really need “regular” pastoral ministry, so creating a fixed schedule will be crucial, even if it is every other week (Sat or Sun).  If I do find time to volunteer, I’d probably get to know the kids in some other position, like “activities” or “intake.”  — We’ll see.

As I mentioned that I start seminary tomorrow, it’s starting to hit me … I’m not ready (packing)!     

Categories: 01 ME, service

Covenant House

Covenant House logoI finally filled out the volunteer application for Covenant House, a Catholic shelter for homeless teens (under age 21) on Ft. Lauderdale beach.  They’ve been looking to fill a “Pastoral Minister” position for years, but only recently found someone for the last couple of months.  They organize spiritual activities like prayer services, council, Bible study, and take kids to church (of various faiths).  It sounds like a difficult, but very necessary service for these teens.

After last months YES Retreat, which had a speaker from Covenant House, I decided to see if I could volunteer some time on the weekends, especially since our youth group is no longer active.  While trying to get to the place today, the police had 2 blocks around the building blocked off — I thought it was a hostage standoff.  Apparently, a dump truck driver knocked over some electrical poles and cause a major power outage.  Of all days that I pick to go!

Just to top things off, I found out the new “Pastoral Minister” is leaving in a couple of weeks.  — These kids just can’t get a break!    

Y.E.S. D5: Closing Mass

To close day #5 of the Y.E.S. Retreat, families were invited to celebrate Mass.

[pictures coming soon]

NOTE:  MASTER LIST of all Y.E.S. events & video status HERE.

Y.E.S. D5: Breakfast & Prayer

Day #5 of the Y.E.S. Retreat had breakfast & opening prayer.

[pictures coming soon]

NOTE:  MASTER LIST of all Y.E.S. events & video status HERE.

Y.E.S. D4: Dancing?

Usually, on the last night of a retreat, nobody can sleep.  Well, after 4 days on the Y.E.S. Retreat, this was no exception.  Most got involved in an interesting version of “So You Think You Can Dance?” to grooves by Mixmaster “Upsidedowny” on the laptop.  Since I only had 15 minutes of videotape left, I saved it for tomorrow’s Mass.  I think that was God’s plan.  🙂

NOTE:  MASTER LIST of all Y.E.S. events & video status HERE.



YES Nite Hall CamI found a 2 minute video clip (accidentally recorded on my memorystick) recorded by “Esmerelda” in the hallway at night just before lights out.  I think they’re playing “Mission Impossible” or mountain climbing???  WARNING:  If you get motion-sickness, this is not the clip for you.  (12 MB in size)