Dear Sacred Heart Family,
It may have gone unnoticed by many,
but this year marks the 40th anniversary
of the arrival of the Claretian
Missionaries to Sacred Heart Church.
Our parish album (1982) that marked our
100th year anniversary recounts that the
Claretians’ arrival marked the fulfilment
of the founding families’ desire that the parish be entrusted to a (religious) order of priests. As part of the family of religious orders, like the Benedictines at St Joseph or the Vincentians at XXXXX, our life is distinct from our diocesan counterparts in organization, fraternity, and government.
One significant area of distinction is in how our ministry assignments are done. As opposed to the bishop solely determining where we will serve, our provincial and provincial council discerns where best to use our gifts before making assignments and then seeks the approval of the local ordinary in the diocese where we will be inserted. This was the process I went through in my assignment here, much like Father Gaspar did in his new assignment in our community in Prescott, Arizona.
I mention this as an introduction (or reintroduction for some) to the new assignment of our Brother Manuel “Manolo” Benavides, cmf to our Sacred Heart parish by our Claretian provincial. Br Manolo will be serving in our parish as a pastoral associate helping in the areas of liturgies, faith formation, and family enrichment with both our Spanish- speaking and English-speaking communities. He will serve us part-time as he also continues his artistic ministry at Accompañarte cultural center on Glenstone Ave.
One fact many may not know about Brother Manolo is that he completed his Master of Divinity (MDiv) in 2006 at Catholic Theological Union. The MDiv is the degree that is required of all priests to become ordained in the United States and is rarely achieved by religious brothers. His accomplishments are a reminder, as with all of us, there is always more to us than meets the eye. I am excited that Br Manolo’s presence will usher in a fuller sense of our Claretian charism and pray that his enthusiasm and energy will help our Sacred Heart parish family grow. Welcome Br Manolo!
All for Jesus with Mary,
Fr. Ray Smith, Parochial Administraton