TDLR: God has answered our prayers, and thanks to the generosity of our Diocese, we have extended an offer of employment to a gifted Hispanic priest who will start on July 14, 2022.
After being a Roman Catholic Priest for over 20 years in the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami, Fr. Pinzon became an Episcopalian, married the love of his life in Colombia, moved to Houston, attended Iona School for Ministry at Camp Allen, was received into our Diocese in 2020, and became a Curate at St. Peter’s/San Pedro Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Texas. Saint Peter/San Pedro is a bicultural, bilingual congregation with two English and one Spanish services every Sunday.
As a curate, Fr. Pinzon has acted as an assistant to the Rector, participating in pastoral care, preaching, teaching, and the celebration of the sacraments. Additionally, he actively participates in all the ministries of the North Pasadena Community Outreach, the Church’s non-for-Profit social services agency. These include a food pantry, free G.E.D classes, ESL programs, art lessons, a folkloric dance group, health classes, yoga, jewelry making, and assistance with citizenship applications.
Fr. Pinzon comes to us with a long history of parochial and extra parochial ministry in Colombia, Italy, Miami, and Houston, which include project management, pastoral care, communications, and Canon Law. The following are a few highlights of his ministry: He founded a confraternity in the name of Colombia’s Patron Saint, Our Lady of Chiquinquira. This coalition of parishes and benefactors across Miami joined together in prayer, fundraising, and social services in honor of the famous virgin. Fr. Pinzon was a Canon Lawyer in the Roman Catholic Church since the completion of his PhD in Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome in 2002. He ascended in his ministry as a lawyer within the Church and became an Associate Ecclesiastical Judge in Miami in the mid 2000’s, a position he held for 15 years. As a judge, he presided over hundreds of cases ranging from annulments to clergy misconduct.
Fr. Pinzon has also had a distinguished career in communications. He was a writer and program producer for the BBC of London, Radio Caracol in Colombia, and Radio Uno 1020 in Houston. In 2005, he founded Santa Maria Radio, an online radio station in Miami. In January 2021, he founded Aliento de Dios Radio, an online radio station in Houston.
In addition to his doctorate in Canon Law, Fr. Pinzon holds degrees in Philosophy and Theology from various universities in Bogota, Colombia. He is the Author of Cinco Dimensiones para Parejas en Crisis, Editorial QBO, Cinco Dimensiones Publishing, 2013. And Cinco Dimensiones para une Vida Abundante. Editorial QBO Cinco Dimensiones Publishing, 2014. Fr. Pinzon Will start his ministry at Saint Dunstan’s on Thursday, July 14, 2022, and we will introduce him to the congregation on Sunday, July 16, 2022, at all three services.
Now, let me answer a few questions about this new ministry at Saint Dunstan’s:
HOW ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS? The Associate Rector for Hispanic Ministry is the result of a generous grant from The Episcopal Diocese of Texas’ Mission Amplification Department. The grant ($60,000 Annually for three years) pays for two thirds of the salary, benefits, and pension for Fr. Pinzon. The remainder (for year one) has been donated to Saint Dunstan’s by generous parishioners. We are confident that we will raise what we need for years two and three in the near future. Our greatest aspiration is that the congregation will continue to grow in the next three years and that we will allocate all expenses for this position in our program budget after the 3-year grant from the Diocese runs out.
WHAT WILL HE BE DOING? Fr. Pinzon will be an Associate Rector, which means that he will serve to advance the overall vision and mission of Saint Dunstan’s. Having said this, Fr. Pinzon will help us develop an after-school mentoring program for Hispanic children, and will create a set of programs and ministries to welcome Spanish speakers from our local community: ESL and parenting classes, Spanish-for-English Speakers, small-group Bible studies in Spanish, fellowship events, etc. Finally, Fr. Pinzon will help us develop a Church service for Spanish-Speakers by the end of 2022.
WHAT LEVEL OF SUPPORT WILL YOU OFFER HIM? We have a number of parishioners who are bilingual. We will be setting up a “Hispanic Ministry Support Team” very soon, whose job it will be to gather with Fr. Pinzon at least once a month for consultation, prayer, support, and planning. This committee will ensure that Fr. Pinzon receives all the support he needs to do the job he was hired to do. Additionally, Fr. Pinzon will have an office in our administration building, will attend staff meetings, and will receive administrative support from our staff.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS FOR HIS MINISTRY? We have humble goals, which we will scale up in 2023. For the second half of 2022 we want to offer after school mentoring to at least 20 youth from our local community, with the goal of expanding gradually as we build additional relationships with our local schools and volunteer mentors. We want to start an ESL class that meets twice a week in the evenings. We want to lead an evening Bible class in Spanish by the start of the program year (September.) We want a Spanish for Non-Speakers in September, also in the evenings. And we want to have our first Spanish Church service before December of 2022. These are all achievable, foundational goals. Fr. Pinzon will be spending the majority of his time during his first few months building connections, befriending, and reaching out to Hispanic visitors. This will be an important foundation for our future ministry. Relationships take time to germinate and we can’t rush this.
HOW CAN WE HELP? Express our gratitude to the Diocese’s Mission Amplification Department for their generous support. Start praying for the success of this ministry, and If you are able to contribute financially, please target your donation to “Hispanic Ministries.” If you are a Spanish speaker, please send me a quick e-mail and I will include you in our “Ministry Support Team.” And finally, spread the word: We are growing and we are excited about the inclusion of Hispanics into our congregation.
May our Lord continue to bless you,