Parishioners Donate in Wake of Puerto Rico Earthquakes

Jan. 15, 2020 - Parroquia El Buen Pastor is a Jesuit parish located in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, approximately 45 minutes from the epicenter of the earthquakes that shook the island in the early days of January 2020. The people of El Buen Pastor were not greatly impacted by the earthquakes, and their homes were not damaged. However, they were in close proximity to those whose homes were damaged and destroyed. Seeing this opportunity to help, the community poured out their love and care for their brothers and sisters in Guanica and Lajas, Puerto Rico. 

Parishioners filled three large trucks with donations and delivered them to people in three different locations in the two neighboring towns. Parish volunteers were also trained to know how to listen to a person who is processing a traumatic event, allowing them to accompany others from a spiritual standpoint as well, bringing Jesus to their stories. 

"We were blessed with a social worker who helped us organize the donations and the volunteers, as well as with two psychologists who helped in the training," Fr. José Ruiz, SJ, pastor of  El Buen Pastor, said. "We were blessed with business owners who put their trucks to the service of their fellow brothers and sisters. We were blessed with many individuals who brought donations small and large, and people willing to roll up their sleeves and move those donations around."

The parish used $1,000 from its charity fund to buy water and food. 

"Before we gathered, I didn't know if I was going to have too many donations or too many trucks, but the ratio was perfect," Fr. Ruiz said. "A priest called 45 minutes before our departure time and asked for a mattress for a sick child. We didn't have it. Thirty minutes later someone out of the blue asked if we could use a small mattress. There were many winks of God along the way, not the least of them was the many smiles of people we met, and the stories we shared. Thank you for your prayers. I witnessed first hand what Psalm 34 says: 'The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.'"

Fr. Ruiz shared the following video of the sharing. Click on the cc button for English subtitles: 

Recent News

Feb.12, 2020 - Father Jim Bradley, SJ, has taught and served in leadership in Jesuit high schools, as a provincial and superior of Jesuit communities. But the job he has found most fulfilling is the one he has now.

February, 2020 - Jesuit in formation Aric Serrano appreciates deep thinkers who integrate their intellectual, artistic and spiritual lives. “When the mind, body and spirit are working together,” he noted, “it’s the human person fully alive.”

Jan. 28, 2020 - Father Luke J. Byrne, SJ, died Jan. 27, 2020, in St. Louis. He was 84 years old, a Jesuit for 67 years and a priest for 54 years.

January 28, 2020 — Father Bernard (Barney) Coughlin, SJ, the former long-serving president of Gonzaga University, died today at the age of 97 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. Following is a recent profile of Fr. Barney that appeared in Jesuits West magazine.

Jan. 16, 2020 - The Jesuit superiors in the State of Texas sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott to ask him to reverse his refusal to accept refugees in the State of Texas during the coming fiscal year.

January 10, 2020 – Last November the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat in Rome marked its first fifty years with a Jubilee gathering. Dozens of global delegates came together for a week of celebration, networking and discernment.

January 6, 2020 — This National Migration Week, Jesuit leaders urge us to support and advocate for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

view all news

Search news


Jesuit Spirituality Center
Situated on 900 acres of farmland, the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Grand Coteau provides a quiet environment for those seeking God through the Spiritual Exercises.