Fr. James Minette honored for 25 years of Mission

minetteFr. James Minette’s contribution to creating and fostering this Sister Diocese relationship was major. Below is the text of a wall-hanging honoring Fr. Minette in the San Bartolome Parish in Maracay Diocese, Venezuela:

“For 35 years, from 1965 to 2000, a number of priests, Sisters and lay missioners from the Diocese of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, lived in the Diocese of Maracay, Venezuela, working in various parishes. Saint Cloud contributed considerably to the foundation and maintenance of both the missioners and the parishes founded there. A pioneer in this fraternal relationship between the two dioceses was Father James Minette, who worked and gave his best in Maracay for 25 years. He was the founding pastor of the parish community of San Bartolome, in the San Jose neighborhood of the city of Maracay, capitol of the State of Aragua. In this parish he was a recognized leader among the priests and lay people, who still remember him with fondness and nostalgia.

“After so many years serving the Church of Maracay, we now begin to harvest the fruit of the seed he planted, since now priests from the Diocese of Maracay also serve in the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

“This homage to Father Minette is to recognize his valuable contribution to the mutual relationship that exists today between the two dioceses. Father Minette has been an instrument in God’s hands. For this reason we ask our Heavenly Father to bestow abundant blessings upon his servant who has known how to plant the seed of the Gospel.”

Fr. Minette died on January 20, 2004 in Pealuma, California shortly after his celebratory return visit to Maracay in August of 2003. In the 1960’s, Pope John XXIII put a call out to U.S. bishops to send missionaries from their diocese overseas to Venezuela. Fr. James Minette quickly volunteered and was one of the St. Cloud Diocesan original missioners to go to Maracay, Venezuela in January of 1965.