In 1970, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis resolved to establish a mission in Latin America as a response to the directives of Pope John XXIII.

The parish of Jesucristo Resucitado is located in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. An estimated 65,000 people live in the 11 distinct barrios or neighborhoods within the parish.

We minister to the spiritual and physical needs of the people in this parish.

Stories from Venezuela

Sharing the Gift of Joy for 50 Years

In 1970, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis resolved to establish a mission in Latin America as a response to the directives of Pope John XXIII. 2020 marks the 50th year of our partnership with the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado, located in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. An estimated 65,000 people live in the 11 distinct barrios or neighborhoods within the parish.

In recognition of the 50th year of the partnership, Fr. Denny Dempsey has been preparing weekly “Did you know?” reflections on life’s similarities and differences between Minnesota and Venezuela. Below are some of his recent stories.

Who We Are

The parish of Jesucristo Resucitado is located in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. An estimated 65,000 people people live in the 11 distinct barrios or neighborhoods within the parish.

This part of Venezuela suffers from high unemployment. The unemployment rate in the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado is an estimated 73%. High unemployment is the main cause of domestic violence, delinquency, high malnutrition, alcoholism and prostitution that plague much of San Felix. At the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is responding to the spiritual and physical needs of the people.

In 2001, Bishop Richard Pates, then-auxiliary bishop from Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and Bishop Mariano Parra, bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana, consecrated the new church of Jesucristo Resucitado Parish. In 2006, construction was completed of a church and parish center containing a medical clinic, dentist office, medical laboratory, computer center, youth room and various classrooms for catechesis, as well as for teaching people skills to start their own businesses.

Lay volunteers from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been active in different projects over the last 50 years. The parish center at Jesucristo Resucitado has a fully furnished apartment which can house up to 12 guests. Groups from various parishes across the archdiocese  have visited and worked on a regular basis, as have students from high schools, the colleges and seminarians from Saint Paul Seminary.

As we look to the future, we hope to continue to have many more guests from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis visit us.

In sharing the love that the Lord has for each of us, we continue to walk together as brothers and sisters, as members of the Church in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and in the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana, sharing the gifts and talents we have been blessed with and building the friendships that have been growing for 50 years.

What We Do

We minister to the spiritual and physical needs of the people.

How do we do that?

We serve their spiritual needs.

Every weekend there are seven Masses celebrated in the parish – two Masses in the church and five in the barrio chapels. We need more chapels so we can provide Mass for the people in their own neighborhoods. You can help us build a chapel.

We provide for their medical needs.

Our parish center has space to address medical needs of our people with a medical clinic, dentist office, and medical laboratory.

We help our people learn.

Our parish center provides space for a computer center, youth room, and classrooms. We teach catechesis and the basic skills to start their own businesses.  At the parish center people have taken classes on baking, cake decorating, cutting hair, basic accounting, basic computer skills, and pharmacist assistant among others. Additionally, the daycare center is under remodel to serve as a study center with access to the internet for the youth in the barrio of Campo Rojo.

We feed our people.

Our soup kitchen prepares 150 lunches Monday through Friday for mostly children and elderly.  Around 70 people eat at the soup kitchen and the rest of the food is delivered to people’s homes.

We shelter our children.

Our parish collaborates with the neighboring Salesian parish of Don Bosco which runs a home for abandoned and homeless boys.  This home is located in our parish and is currently home for 12 boys ages 11 to 18 years old.

History

In 1970, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis resolved to establish a mission in Latin America as a response to the directives of Pope John XXIII.

After Fr. Don Schnitzius investigated various areas throughout Central and South America, it was decided that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would help serve the Church in the area of Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. The area of Ciudad Guayana resembled the Twin Cities in that it is made up of two very large cities – San Felix and Puerto Ordaz – that are separated by a large river, the Caroni River. This part of Venezuela had a population explosion with the establishment of various steel mills and was in great need of clergy.

The first missionaries from the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis worked at the parish of Virgin Del Valle (Virgin of the Valley Parish) in Puerto Ordaz. As the parish grew, the bishop in that diocese asked the priests of the Archdiocese to work at a second parish, the parish of Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd Parish) in San Felix. The priests of the archdiocese were aided in ministry by Franciscan Sisters from Little Falls, MN. The active parish of Virgin Del Valle was handed over to a Venezuelan pastor and the missionary team from the archdiocese was asked to start a new parish in San Feliz close to Buen Pastor Parish. Thus, the parish of San Francisco de Asis was established by priests from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

The parish of Buen Pastor and San Francisco de Asis were subsequently transferred to a Venezuelan priest and priests of the archdiocese were then asked to take over the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado in San Felix. Since 1998, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been solely focused on pastoral and ministry to the many barrios of San Felix from the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado.

You Can Help

Ways You Can Help Our Mission Parish, Jesucristo Resucitado:

Monetary Donation

Please make checks payable to:

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Memo: Venezuelan Mission
777 Forest Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106

Donate Supplies

  • Deodorant (men’s and women’s)
  • Bar soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Diapers
  • Shampoo (unopened, small containers)
  • Multivitamins (adult and children)
  • Tylenol (infant, children, and adult)

If you want to donate supplies or have any other questions, please contact the Office of Stewardship and Development at 651-290-1610.

Prayer

Please keep Fr. Greg Schaffer, the Parish of Jesucristo Resucitado, and the country of Venezuela in your prayers.

 

Thank you for your support for our Venezuelan Mission! Muchas gracias!

Resources

Welcome to the Resource page for the Archdiocesan Mission Parish of Jesucristo Resucitado in San Felix, Venezuela.  Below are various tools for parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to help support the mission at speaking events at your parish.

You might have your own creative ideas on how to promote the mission at your parish.  We would like to hear about them.  Please contact Tom Remmel, and share them with us.

Speaking event posters: 8.5 x 11, 4/c

Sample bulletin announcements for speaking event

Sample prayer and petitions for Venezuela

Pastor Biography

Contact

If you have questions or want to learn more about the mission, please contact the archdiocesan Office of Stewardship and Development at 651-290-1610.