From Assistance, to Friendship, and Beyond

maracay_clareswell2006The relationship between the Dioceses of Maracay, Venezuela and St. Cloud, Minnesota began in 1964 when Bishop Bartholome of St. Cloud responded to an appeal by Pope John XXIII to assist the Church of Latin America with human and economic resources. At the same time, Bishop Feliciano Gonzalez of Maracay asked the American Bishops for personnel for his young diocese that had just a few native clergy.

At that time two priests, including Fr. James Minette, from the St. Cloud Diocese went to Maracay to live and serve. Over the years, many priests, Sisters and lay volunteers from St. Cloud served their brothers and sisters in various parishes of the Diocese of Maracay. That assistance helped the diocese mature and strengthen. It has been blessed with an abundance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, as well as with dedicated laity.

In the year 2000, then Co-Adjutor and later Bishop of Maracay, Reinaldo Del Prette and St. Cloud Bishop John Kinney, redefined the mission relationship between the two dioceses as one of collaboration, in which each diocese would share of their faith, ideas, personnel and resources. A Liaison Committee made up of the Bishop, clergy, Religious and laity, was set up in each diocese to guide and direct the partnership, and to direct pastoral, educational and spiritual formation and exchange between them. Several Maracay priests have studied English in St. Cloud; youth from Maracay have evangelized in St. Cloud; and Maracay priests have ministered in the Diocese of St. Cloud full-time to serve and walk in faith with the people of our diocese. In the past, St. Cloud has also collaborated with support for seminarians; small projects such as providing start-up funds for the Maracay Diocesan Communications Office; and short-term pastoral assistance.

maracay_holy cross2006In addition, both dioceses have sent many short-term missioners through delegations to-and-from one another’s dioceses. The people of the St. Cloud Diocese are becoming more engaged in this partnership by becoming delegates to Maracay and hosting delegates from Maracay in their homes and parishes. Every third year the partnership sponsors mission exchange delegations for Venezuelans and Minnesotans. The cultural and faith-sharing experiences have touched the lives of many persons. The partnership has fostered a deep bond of faith and friendship between the people of Maracay and St. Cloud, and has given them a stronger sense of the global dimensions of their faith and our oneness in Christ. And as the late Pope John Paul II stated in his encyclical The Church in America, “The awareness of communion with Christ and with our brothers and sisters, for its part the fruit of conversion, leads to the service of our neighbors in all their needs, material and spiritual, since the face of Christ shines forth in every human being.” This is what our Partnership is all about!


Partnership Mission Statement

“The foundation of the partnership between the local churches of Saint Cloud, Minnesota and Maracay, Venezuela, rests primarily on our unity in Christ as manifested in the Gospel, in the Eucharist and in our communion with the universal Church. We live and celebrate our communion and deepen our bonds of solidarity by sharing our gifts, both spiritual and material, and by promoting social justice among our peoples. This relationship commits us to transform our dioceses and our world into the Reign of love, justice and peace of Christ.”

En Español:
“Hermandad Saint Cloud, Minnesota – Maracay, Venezuela Propósito: “La hermandad entre las iglesias locales de Saint Cloud, Minnesota y Maracay, Venezuela, se basa fundamentalmente en nuestra unidad en Cristo manifestada en el Evangelio, en la Eucaristía y en nuestra comunión con la Iglesia universal. Vivimos y celebramos nuestra comunión y profundizamos nuestros lazos de solidaridad compartiendo nuestros dones, tanto materiales como espirituales y promoviendo la justicia social entre nuestros pueblos. Esta relación fraterna nos compromete a transformar nuestras diócesis y el mundo, en el Reino de amor, justicia y paz en Cristo.”

maracay_arepas2008Get Involved

There are multiple other ways in which you can be involved and support this special partnership – included, but not limited to:

  1. Financial donations, including contributions to the Friends of Seminarians Project, Mass stipends, delegation expenses, or general partnership needs
  2. Hosting delegations here
  3. Being part of delegations to Maracay
  4. Inviting a missioner to speak on Venezuela, mission or the partnership at your group, parish or school
  5. Including Mission Education in your school or faith formation curriculum
  6. Staying updated on global issues that affect our partners in Venezuela
  7. Praying for Maracay and the partnership
  8. Making World Mission Rosaries
  9. Attend the Partnership Barndance celebration annually
  10. and so much MORE!

View the Maracay Brochure-2019 (PDF)

Or learn more about the history of the partnership: Maracay timeline2018  (PDF).