The new director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of Portland sees himself not only as serving Latino Catholics, but as energizing them to evangelize western Oregon.
Deacon Félix García, who has served at Shepherd of the Valley Parish in Central Point for nine years, says Hispanics are well suited to bring the Gospel to all kinds of cultures.
Deacon García says he accepted the new position to further serve God and God’s church, but to do it in collaboration with others.
“Of course, the goal will always be to bring Jesus into the heart of each person,” he said in Spanish. “I believe that this is possible if we do it in community, together with our archbishop.”
Deacon García hopes to develop leaders with a clear vision for the archbishop’s ministry.
“We will ask how our Hispanic community might be able to bring the Gospel to all different cultures and to enrich the church of western Oregon,” he says.
Deacon García wants Hispanics to know that the Catholic Church is their home.
“If we feel at home, we will be able to help build and improve our church and to feel that everyone around me is my brother or sister regardless of skin color, social or political status,” he says. “And then we realize that we are called to bring the Gospel to each one of them.”
Born in Cordoba in the eastern province of Veracruz, Mexico, Deacon García is married to Denise Hirata. They have five children.
For 15 years, he served as a full-time volunteer in the Archdiocese of Xalapa in Veracruz, where he studied theology and pastoral ministry.
He worked in youth ministry, evangelization teams and catechesis. He also led worship music and taught in institutes for the laity.
He has lived in the United States for 17 years, the first eight in Vancouver, Washington.
Even living across the Columbia River, he collaborated frequently with the Archdiocese of Portland.
He continued work in youth ministry, sacramental preparation, leadership training, retreats and conferences.
He was ordained in 2011 at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.