NPH Honduras Welcomes Father José Careaga to the Family
NPH Honduras welcomes Father José Careaga as our new on-site, volunteer priest.
July 23, 2018 - Honduras
This July, NPH Honduras welcomes Father José Careaga into our family as a full-time volunteer priest. Originally from Durango, Mexico, Fr. José moved to the U.S. in his youth and received the calling to become a priest in his early 20s. He pursued theological studies in Chicago, IL, first at Loyola University's St. Joseph College Seminary and later at Mundelein Seminary. Prior to coming to NPH, he served as an associate pastor at St. Bede the Venerable Parish in south-side Chicago, working to support a large and diverse congregation of more than 2,500 individuals.
Fr. José's relationship with NPH actually began long before he applied for his current position. While still studying in the seminary, he met the recently appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago's archdiocese, Fr. Ronald Hicks, who held past positions as a volunteer at NPH's home in Mexico and then Regional Director of NPH Central America.
Fr. Ron's willingness to leave everything behind in order to serve in a foreign country inspired Fr. José to seek similar opportunities. In addition, his interactions with individuals who had grown up in NPH's homes assured him that the program was successful. "It provides a safe and loving environment for children from traumatic and economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to develop into morally-upright adults," he explains.
Once Fr. José completed the long process of gaining approval to serve abroad, he applied to NPH as a volunteer priest and left it in the hands of the volunteer coordinators, opting to go to whichever country needed him the most. That leap of faith landed him at ‘El Rancho Santa Fe,’ the main home of NPH Honduras, which will serve as his home for the upcoming year.
Previously, the religious department had been receiving support from various priests who traveled from outlying cities to help manage weekly masses and religious activities. Director of the religious department at NPH Honduras, Federico Osorto, explains, "when there is one priest on The Ranch, he serves as a pillar of our faith and reinforces the spirit of NPH, started by Fr. Wasson, and also brings new ideas to what we do."
Fr. José says he most looks forward to teaching, celebrating the sacraments, and accompanying the children as they overcome their struggles and achieve their goals. He also points out that his service is not limited to the children; he is here to serve the entire community, including fellow volunteers, teachers, caregivers, ancillary staff, and department heads. "Members of the staff have told me that they are happy to have a priest that they can go and talk to when they are struggling or know that things are not going well," adds Fr. José.
For him, joining NPH Honduras is an opportunity to share his faith and enrich the lives of others by helping them to look optimistically towards the future.