Buen Pastor

Contact

Buen Pastor Ministry
Medical and Immigration Assistance

Deacon Edgardo Farias
Director

Sponsors:

  • Arredondo Foundation
  • Mrs. Shahnaz Aryeh
  • Dr. and Mrs. Julio Garcia
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Orellana
  • Rotary Club of K.B.

If you wish to If you wish to became a donor or for more information, please contact us. All donations are tax-deductible. Checks payable to: St. Agnes - Buen Pastor Ministry

Mission Statement

As an extension of the Catholic Church’s commitment to the poor, the St. Agnes parish community, under the leadership of the pastor, Fr. Juan Carlos Paguaga, is attempting to alleviate the hardships endured by many of the domestics working for the families of Key Biscayne and Dade County.


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These hardships include:

  • A sense of powerlessness;
  • Low pay;
  • Long hours without overtime;
  • Lack of sufficient medical care;
  • Frustration and loss of opportunities because they do not know English;
  • Loneliness;
  • And separation from their families and children.

The ministry seeks to address each of these needs through:

  • The development of community spirit among the domestics, offering them a place where they feel at home;
  • Bible classes;
  • English classes;
  • Medical services, including treatment;
  • Assistance with immigration and employment problems.

The entire program functions through the generous service of St. Agnes parish volunteers and the financial support of the Church and our sponsors.

The Buen Pastor Ministry uses all facilities of St. Agnes Church and School.

History

Since 2001, our parish has been involved in helping the domestic employees who work in the homes of Key Biscayne families. Nearly all of them are women from Latin American countries, and many feel alone, far from their families, longing to be with them.

Carmen Harvell began with a prayer/Bible study group for a few of these "empleadas". In time, the group proposed the idea of learning English, for which they felt a great need. Classes began in July of 2002, with the help of dedicated volunteers. Lili Mestre was the liaison between the ministry and Miami-Dade County Public School, which soon joined the ministry.

In November of 2002, the ministry began a program of medical and immigration assistance for the women, most of whom felt powerless to receive needed help. This aid developed into the professional clinic we have today, staffed by Dr. Julio Garcia, an oncologist from Mercy Hospital. In addition, the participants have had several opportunities to speak with immigration lawyers. Today volunteer dentists, ophthalmologists and other physicians also contribute their pro-bono services.

What began a few years ago with a few persons has now become a beautiful program for more than 400 participants of spiritual development, English classes, medical, immigration, social and employment assistance… truly a miracle of God.