Announcement. Fr. Albert J. DeGiacomo, Fifth Sunday of Lent. 3.29.20
Re: New Pastor. Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg
I received a phone call from Bishop John on Wednesday morning. He told me the news of our new pastor and he told me to announce this news to you today. I am happy to announce to you tidings of great joy: our new pastor of Saint Andrew Catholic Church will be Fr. Miguel Alvizures. I know Father Miguel very well, and I have every faith and confidence that the people of Saint Andrew will embrace him with delight.
Fr. Miguel and I were in seminary together at Sacred Heart School of Theology, outside of Milwaukee. We lived on the same corridor just a few doors apart. We also shared a circle of Hispanic seminarian friends, and together we would sometimes socialize in the Hispanic community in Milwaukee. Father Miguel and I were ordained the same year, 2008, just a few weeks apart. When he was still Deacon Miguel, he served as the Deacon of our ordination Mass at the Cathedral Christ the King; the next day he served as one of two deacons at my first Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Clare in Berea. Three weeks later, he himself was ordained a priest in Houston for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I was present on that occasion and participated in his ordination Mass. A few years later he called me one day to ask my assistance in the process of his transferring to the Diocese of Lexington because he had come to know so many of our Lexington priests when we were seminarians at Sacred Heart School of Theology.
Since his coming to Lexington, Fr. Miguel Alvizures has served in this Bluegrass West deanery, first at St. Lawrence in Lawrenceburg, and then at Saint Leo in Versailles. He is no stranger to us here at St. Andrew, especially to the Spanish-speaking community because he helped out saying Spanish Mass in my early days here. He already knows the lay of the land.
Fr. Miguel is a native of Guatemala. He is one of 13 children. I have met his family at the time of his ordination. He has lived in the United States for twenty years; his English is excellent. He has been a priest for twelve years; he is fifty-three years old. He is energetic and very out-going.
I called, texted and emailed Fr. Miguel almost immediately after receiving the news from Bishop John on Wednesday, both to congratulate and welcome him to Saint Andrew. Fr. Miguel and I spoke on the phone on Thursday morning, when I welcomed him yet again in lively fashion. I told him about our parish, of some of the things we have been doing, and of the multigenerational families we enjoy.
At the moment, Fr. Miguel is in Guatemala where he has needed to spend a year to fulfill immigration and visa requirements. While there, he has been working on the administration of a school that he, with a group of others, have started in the mountains outside Valencia. The education of poor children, along with the procurement of books, is a critical need in Guatemala. Last May, the Lexington Herald Leader featured a front-page story about Fr. Miguel and this school that some of you might wish to look up. I learned about this need for books and education, first-hand, during my weeks studying the Spanish language in Antigua. The need is very real, and this school is a project very dear to Fr. Miguel’s heart.
Fr. Miguel is due back in the United States after the end of May. According to Bishop John, Fr. Miguel should be able to begin here on July 1 as scheduled. I will be telling you more about Father Miguel in the days ahead. For now, we thank Bishop John for this appointment, and we welcome and pray for Fr. Miguel Alvizures, the next pastor of Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Harrodsburg – where Kentucky started! As we approach our 250th anniversary in 2024, let’s always remember, Kentucky begins here!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Fr. Albert J. DeGiacomo, Pastor
29 March 2020