One of the great pleasures of my job is having the opportunity to visit parishes I’ve never been to before and learn about each unique community. This year, I was able to talk to several pastors and staff who received a grant in our Spring Grant Cycle. They told me about the great things happening in their communities as well as their struggles. These meetings help me learn more about individual communities, and I bring this knowledge back to the Grants Committee to help inform our grantmaking each year. Below are highlights from a few of the wonderful communities I was able to visit.
Most Holy Trinity
Father Bob Fambrini, S.J., and Mario Lucas, accountant for the parish, talked about their efforts to use the Deanery structure as a way to bring their neighbor parishes together for programming and support. They applied to the Foundation for three Deanery-wide programs and have done so for many years. These programs reach beyond one individual parish’s boundaries and monetary means to impact people throughout East San Jose. For example, the “Deanery 6 Multi-Parish Cooperative Summer Literacy Program” impacted 200 children in East San Jose last year and proposes to reach as many this year with the help of the Foundation’s grant. These Deanery-wide programs are great examples of how collaboration among parishes can benefit the entire community.
Saint John the Baptist
The parish has a very active and growing Youth Ministry Program run by the dedicated and enthusiastic Youth Coordinator, Ruben Cardenas. The parish’s newly appointed Pastor, Monsignor Wilfredo Manrique, and Ruben believe in the importance of involving the youth in the faith community from a young age, and the parish’s robust Youth Ministry Program shows that they are putting this belief into practice. With funding help from the Foundation, their program includes weekly meetings, monthly leadership trainings, theology courses, youth socials, adoration nights, liturgical training, retreats, conferences, and Diocesan events. By investing in their youth, Saint John the Baptist is investing in the future of not only their parish but the Catholic faith as well.
Father Vincent Pineda grew up in the Philippines, and while his Spanish is passable, he wants to improve his skills. There is an active Hispanic community of more than 200 people at his parish, and since he has no parochial vicars, he often needs to ask priests from other parishes to assist him with Spanish Masses. His desire to learn Spanish is great, but his time is limited. His Hispanic parishioners are very open and encouraging when he practices his Spanish with them, and he wishes he had the time to do an immersion trip to really improve his skills. However, due to his responsibilities at his parish, he is going to do the next best thing: one-on-one language coaching. With help from the Foundation’s grant, Father Vincent is able to hire a tutor to improve his skills, so he can effectively preach and minister to his community.
If you would like to support programs like these, please consider a donation to our Field of Interest Endowments. Learn more at http://cfoscc.org/what-we-do/endowments.