SPREADING HIS WORD
Brothers, priests, sisters and lay Salvatorians join in doing God's work all over the world. Learn more about our ministries, including our missionary work.
- Salvatorian Missions
- Salvatorian Mission Warehouse
- Haiti Project
- Project Light
- Jordan Ministry Team
- Camp St. Charles
- Southwest Medical Aid
- Anti-Human Trafficking
Places where Salvatorians minister
- St. Joseph Church, Huntsville, Ala.
- St. Mary of the Visitation Church, Huntsville, Ala.
- Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, Ariz.
- Divine Savior Parish, Orangevale, Calif.
- St. Mary College, Moraga, Calif.
- Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Fla.
- Frost Center, Rockville, Md.
- Camphill Village, Sauk Centre, Minn.
- St. Bernard Mission School, Ft. Yates, N.D.
- Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Ore.
- St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, New Freedom, Pa.
- St. Andrew Parish, Sparta, Tenn.
- St. Catherine Church, McMinnville, Tenn.
- St. John the Evangelist Church, Lewisburg, Tenn.
- St. Luke’s Church, Smyrna, Tenn.
- St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Cookeville, Tenn.
- Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tenn.
- St. William Church, Shelbyville, Tenn.
- Alexian Village, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Casa Cesar Chavez
- Holy Trinity, School Hill, Wis.
- Mother of Good Counsel Church, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners, Wis.
- St. Anne's Salvatorian Campus, Milwaukee, Wis.
- St. Gregory’s Church, St. Nazianz, Wis.
- St. Pius X Church, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Alvaro Diaz, born in Mexico, moved to the U.S. when he was very young and grew up in the slums of Pacoima, Calif., a place called the San Fernando Gardens project. In this male dominated Latino community you either joined a gang or joined the Church. “A male involved in the Church was not very manly unless he was a priest,” said Alvaro. Despite that, he consistently chose to get involved with the Church, and throughout his childhood and adolescence he was drawn toward it through prayer and Church activities.
He had a “feeling” about his call to religious life in his early teens but he just did not know what to do about it. “I only found peace and fulfillment in activities related to the Church such as the Eucharist and I remember listening to the Gospels and feeling that they were speaking to me,” said Alvaro. “I didn’t know what a vocation was. I didn’t have the vocabulary to put it into precise words.”
The first time Alvaro attempted to “do something about it” was after high school when he moved back to Mexico. “I had been going through a time of loneliness and spiritual uncertainty and emptiness,” he said. Alvaro looked into several different religious orders, noting that he felt the call several times but always “found an excuse” or “made one up” in lieu of making a commitment. Over a period of 10 years he discerned with several religious orders, never officially applying to any of them.
Eventually he made an inventory of his life and why it seemed unfulfilled. “I felt that all those years, I had been rejecting or making excuses. God kept calling me and placing in my path His will for me,” he said. Finally while discerning with another religious order, the apostolic way of life clicked with Alvaro. With his application in hand, he made one more leap and decided to look into the Salvatorians. A 30-minute lunch conversation with Fr. Joe Rodrigues, SDS, director of formation, turned into two hours. Alvaro learned about the ministerial possibilities and openness of the Salvatorians. Recognizing he would be able to work where he felt his talents would be most useful and that changing ministries was acceptable if he felt compelled to do so he said, “I knew I wanted to be a Salvatorian priest.”
Alvaro is nearing the completion of his novitiate– a more personal year of discernment, greater immersion into the Salvatorian charism and collaborative ministries, and learning about the founders, Fr. Francis Jordan and Blessed Mother Mary of the Apostles. Alvaro’s next step will be to enter temporary vows. He said, “God spoke to me many times before I recognized Him. I look forward to the future as a Salvatorian.”
View Alvaro's page at www.salvatorians.com/members.html. Click on the members tab.
Click pictures for larger photos
Salvatorian Alvaro Diaz is nearing completion of his novitiate year.
Alvaro Diaz celebrates his entrance to novitiate with Fr. Peter Schuessler, SDS, Director of Formation.
Br. Omar Oyangoran, SDS has been welcomed by the Colombian Salvatorian province to serve and continue his religious formation there. Br. Omar, born and raised in the Philippines, joined the U.S. province in 2004 and in compliance with immigration policy was required to spend a period of time outside of the U.S. So he returned to the Philippines to complete his initial formation, earn his nursing certificate and expand the Salvatorian presence internationally.
“This has been a valuable experience for Br. Omar,” said Fr. Peter Schuessler, SDS, director of formation for the USA province. Fr. Peter recently visited Br. Omar to see how he is doing and to prepare him for the next phase of his formation. “He is learning a whole new culture and how to minister to them. He’s also become very good at Spanish.”
While in Colombia, Br. Omar is involved with various programs of Divine Savior Parish in Cali, Colombia, including:
Divine Savior Health Center – The center helps the poor obtain basic supplies like milk and food, utilizing a holistic approach to help people both physically and psychologically.
Las Palmas and Las Minas – Br. Omar works part time within a network of education programs at these two centers for children. He cultivates simple development skills for the children living there.
Spiritual Growth – Assisting Fr. Guiellermo Mesa, SDS, Br. Omar has been helping to implement a program geared toward developing the spiritual lives of young people and supporting their parents, with tools to instill this spirituality in their children.
Br. Omar sees his ministry as being very much a part of Fr. Jordan’s mission to make Jesus known, especially to the poor. “I have grown to appreciate working with the poor and this experience has fostered a missioning spirit in me,” said Br. Omar. “I hope to pursue missionary work combined with nursing when I return to the U.S.”
Click pictures for larger photos
Br. Omar with the children of Las Palmas town center.
Br. Omar Oyangoran, SDS continues his temporary vows while living in Columbia.
Prayer has been a daily event for the seven men nearing completion of their candidature year. Here is how prayer impacted each of them.
Marcel Emeh always trusts that God will show him the right path to take. “I have seen divine intervention, especially in difficult moments when I called on God through prayer and He has answered me.” During his first year he has intensified his prayer life and come to realize that prayer is what helps him to know God more and more.
Michael Johnson notices that daily prayer truly makes a difference for him and that it can affect his mood if he allows himself the time to clear his mind and listen to God. “I don’t think humans spend enough time in silence,” he said. “We need to give God a chance to speak to us.” Michael really enjoys nature walks to get in touch with God and feel his presence.
Preston Kite shares that prayer has been life changing for him this past year and that he benefits from praying the rosary and meditating in deep quiet time. He even invested in a kneeler. “I see an increased need for prayer in my daily life,” he said. “I believe it will allow me to decipher God’s message to me and will help me to assist people along the way.”
Carl Mawhinney feels that prayer has been the central part of his life this past year and by receiving Holy Communion daily it has given him additional grace to strengthen his soul. “I have a strong devotion to the rosary and this past year I have learned other forms of meditation and prayer which give me strength,” he said.
Patric Nikolas says prayer has profoundly affected his life this past year “I approach classwork from a perspective of lectio divina, (divine reading) and spend time with each text, problem or paper as a means of prayer,” he said. “This allows me take a contemplative perspective to work, rendering it not only an intellectual, but spiritual endeavor.” He added, “So though I didn't know it was possible, prayer has become that much more immediate to me, even visceral.”
Rony Jean-Pierre says prayer has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. He uses short prayers within a liturgical book daily and before going to bed says prayers in French. He also spends time in the chapel at the Formation House with the Blessed Sacrament. “I pray for everyone in need and for the sorrows the world faces,” he said. “Sometimes I address my prayers to the Son, others to the Father or to the Holy Spirit.”
Octavio Trejo-Flores is accustomed to daily prayer and makes it a very personal thing. In addition to praying at the Formation House chapel, he has designated a special place to pray. “This has helped me to be more aware of the voice of God and His calling,” he said. “Also, living in community reflects my desire to be in communion with God because each of the members is a creation of God. Praying with my community of brothers has changed me significantly.”
Click pictures for larger photos
Candidates receive a blessing during their celebration of admission into Salvatorian formation.
Carl, Michael, Preston and Patric are four of seven nearing the completion of their year as Salvatorian candidates.
Having considered a call to religious life, Dave Holton, associate vocations director for the Salvatorians shared that he traveled through his own period of discernment before understanding God was calling him toward the vocation of marriage. “I was working in Boston as a youth minister for two parishes and considering the priesthood when I attended a retreat,” said Dave. “I saw a unique statue of Joseph holding baby Jesus and was filled with joy. I knew at that moment that I truly wanted to be a dad!”
Fast forward 10 years, Dave married and started a family with wife Heather. He was working in campus ministry as department chair at a local high school when he understood his focus was changing. “A lot of energy and enthusiasm is required when you work with teens. I was feeling that I needed to channel that toward my kids,” he said. He took a leave of absence. Then, after Mass one day, Salvatorian Fr. Scott Jones approached Dave who shared that he was in a period of transition. Fr. Scott, aware of Dave’s honest and compassionate, tough love approach within high school ministry, shared that the Salvatorians were considering introducing a lay perspective to their vocations program and Dave’s name had surfaced.
Dave joined the Salvatorian vocations team nearly three years ago to handle the business side of vocations – making calls, returning emails, getting the word out, talking and meeting with men who may be a fit for the apostolic order. He works closely with Fr. Joe Rodrigues, U.S. provincial and vocations director, who concentrates on the pastoral and discernment aspects of potential vocations.
The process of discerning a call to religious life is unique for each person. The Salvatorian vocations process reflects this charism. “I talk to more than 150 guys each year. If we have one, seven or 10 join each year, I feel good about the process. We help them learn what it would mean to become a Salvatorian priest or brother,” said Dave.
Click picture for larger photo
Dave Holton with his family in 2009. Nicholas, their most recent addition was born last spring.