As of Friday, August 17, 2012
A party on Aug. 12 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church will help introduce the community to Father Saul Alba Infanta, who joined the parish in April.
An outdoor festival known as kermess invites Latino and Anglo Community members from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the church grounds (details below).
Funds raised support the ministries of St. Mary’s, including the much-needed addition of Father Saul.
Father Saul, who was born in Mexico, will be a familiar face to many; he studied here with Father Ron Maag at St. Mary’s 11 years ago.
Father Saul started out his career as a lawyer serving clients in Mexico, but he learned his true calling was to serve the Lord wherever he was sent. At age 29, he left his successful law practice and entered seminary, expecting that he would always stay among his people in Mexico. He had no idea that the Lord would call him to work with his people in many parts of the world.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church is very pleased that Father Saul’s journeys have brought him to Hood River and that he will be able to provide some much-welcomed help to Father Ron Maag in serving the 1,000 or more families that call St. Mary’s Catholic Church their home church, according to a press release provided by parishioner Connie Kennedy.
Each weekend about 1,600 parishioners attend one of the five Masses at St. Mary’s. That number has been growing steadily during the last 14 years. Today about 60 percent of those are Latino and three Masses are said each weekend in Spanish.
Although Father Ron will admit that Father Saul’s Spanish is much better than his, he won’t give up saying Mass in Spanish and being available for Hispanic parishioners. Father Saul and Father Ron plan to alternate who will say Mass in English and in Spanish each weekend. Father Ron explains that it is important that both priests are available and close to all the parishioners.
St. Mary’s is one congregation served by two priests, not two congregations served by one priest apiece.