Lourdes Garza: 2012 Lumen Christi Award Finalist

Garza

“Lourdes is a real hero of the faith and has selflessly given herself to serving Christ in others - please help to recognize her many sacrifices. Thank you Lourdes for all that you do.”

“Lourdes allows the light of Christ to shine through her in all aspects of her life and is an advocate for so many. She is a wonderful example of love and generosity of spirit.”

Lourdes Garza, Diocese of Knoxville, TN

Formally, Lourdes Garza is known as the Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Knoxville. But that is merely a title. Garza’s role extends much further into the 36 counties of this large diocese. She’s a teacher, a minister and an advocate. She has taken on these roles with ease, providing ongoing pastoral support for the ever-expanding Hispanic community in east Tennessee.

As one person doing the work of many, Garza is the face of hope for Hispanics of all ages in her diocese. She encourages faith formation through catechesis and training in apologetics. She works with local social service agencies to provide support for women and families facing abuse and other challenges. She fosters cultural sensitivity in local law enforcement to dispel prejudices. She even liaisons with government officials, advocating for the rights of people in her community.

Understanding the unique challenges facing Hispanic youth, Garza has also taken a special interest in ministering to young people. She developed a Pastoral Juvenil Hispana group and has promoted involvement in national youth events, retreats, volunteer projects, and social and cultural events.

In her years of service, Lourdes Garza has made countless contributions to the Hispanic-Catholic community in east Tennessee. Her many ministries are thriving throughout the Diocese of Knoxville, extending the presence of Christ.