By Emily Drooby
Running a parish is a big responsibility, one Father Henry Torres is taking on. He’s the new administrator of Mary of Nazareth Parish in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Father Torres said, “I didn’t think I was going to get called this soon.”
The call, makes him the youngest administrator in the Diocese of Brooklyn right now.
Torres explained, “These are big shoes to fill. These are exciting times, nervous times, but most importantly a time to learn.”
At 30-years-old, Torres is the second youngest in the Diocese ever.
Last year, the Vatican released data showing a priest shortage. However, here in the U.S., Bishops are reporting steady enrollment when it comes to seminarians. Father Torres’ appointment is another good sign.
“It’s a tremendous sign of hope and encouragement that we have young men who are willing to enter into this responsibility and take it on for the greater good for the people of God,” explained Monsignor Sean Ogle.
He’s the Vicar for clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn. He says there’s a lot of support for young pastors.
“Youth has its advantages and experience and age have their advantages too, and I think what every organization wants is a health mixture of the two,” said Monsignor Ogle.
Father Torres will be learning how to run, not one but two churches. It’s not an easy task, but he’s never shied away from a challenge.
One major trial, two kidney transplants that ultimately put him on a fitness journey, losing 50 pounds.
Using that experience to get the kids from his former church, excited about fitness too.
A strong connection with the younger generation that’s what long time parishioner Claudia Cruz is excited about.
Claudia said, “that’s a good thing because he can influence teens to one day hear the word of God and become a priest.”
That is a big part of his new role. He’ll also build up the church community, renovate, and overhaul the parish’s web presence.
A lot of work, but Father Torres, is ready.