The Diocese of Fajardo-Humacao in Puerto Rico is, by far, the poorest diocese in terms of assets and revenue, among Catholic Extension’s 90 mission dioceses. Six staff members housed in four offices manage the diocesan administration adhering to an annual budget of $130,000. Some priests work up to 70 hours a week, for as little as $150 compensation per month. Catholic Extension provides Mass stipends to help supplement their meager salaries.
The Diocese of Fajardo-Humacao was created in 2008 to serve the people on the eastern region of the island. Monsignor Eusebio Ramos, formerly a pastor from the neighboring Diocese of Caguas, Puerto Rico, was named the first bishop. The diocese presently has 21 parishes, and was founded by the Vatican to offer greater pastoral attention to this area, where the Catholic Church is a minority faith. The Catholic population only represents 35 percent of the total population in the diocese of over 300,000 people.
The diocese recognizes that a stable future rests in the recruitment and training of new leaders who will eventually push forward the pastoral, humanitarian, and educational mission of the diocese. Under current conditions, space is not available for new leaders to conduct faith formation programs. The current leadership training programs are housed in an open-air facility without room to expand.
Therefore, completing a new diocesan center is the bishop’s number one priority over the next several years. The new headquarters will house the Diocesan Tribunal and meeting spaces for pastoral services, as well as administrative and pastoral offices. Catholic Extension has provided a $63,000 matching challenge grant to help this diocese reach its fundraising goal and complete this essential building.
Take a look inside one of the old diocesan office buildings. The new diocesan headquarters will provide space for six staff members, who are currently in four separate but cramped offices, to work together.
Here are a few photos of the new diocesan headquarters, where staff will have offices and space for diocesan leaders to conduct faith formation programs.
Support for building projects like this one are made possible by generous gifts from our donors. Your donation will help build the Catholic Church in some of the poorest faith communities in the United States.