Hispanic Ministry

Together… we embrace diversity

Time and time again the Oblates have demonstrated their willingness to stand up for the poor and oppressed, even if that is not the popular thing to do.  This tradition began with the Oblate founder.  After his ordination in 1811, Fr. De Mazenod declined the position of Vicar General to the Bishop of Amiens, France.  Instead he asked to work with the poor, neglected, and abandoned people of Aix-en Provence.

At 40 Spanish-speaking parishes in the United States, we embrace diversity and take a special interest in working with those in need.

Father Alejandro Roque, O.M.I. the only Oblate born in Cuba, is pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish in suburban Miami, Florida.  In addition to his pastoral ministry, he is very active in a variety of social justice causes.  He is a leader of Broward (County) Organized Leaders Doing Justice, or BOLD Justice, a multi-denominational group that is committed to researching social concerns, devising solutions, and taking its findings to governments for change.  The group addresses a wide range of issues from improving dental health for the poor to creating more affordable rental units in the community.

•  Oblate shrines offer spiritually enriching programs to Spanish-speaking pilgrims.  At the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois several Hispanic programs are made available to the public, including Mass in Spanish and annual celebrations like Las Mañanitas and Posadas Navideñas.  The Oblates’ Shrine in San Antonio, Texas offers programs and Mass in Spanish year-round.  The Shrine also boasts the “Tepeyac de San Antonio”, a place of devotion to the Patroness of the Americas that also serves to honor the work of Oblate missionaries among Latino communities in the U.S., Mexico, and beyond.

•  In 1971 Fr. Don Bernard, O.M.I. wanted to do something for the Hispanic residents living in poverty in his San Fernando Valley, California neighborhood.  So he, along with a group of friends, helped to create an agency called MEND (Meeting Every Need with Dignity).  Today MEND is the largest anti-poverty agency in the San Fernando Valley, serving more than 40,000 clients a month, and one of the largest food banks in the State of California.  MEND annually provides more than $4.6 million in donated food, $450,000 in clothing, and nearly $700,000 worth of medical, vision, and dental care to those in need.

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