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Wilfredo “Will” Aguirre has been named our Diocese’s new Director of Advocacy and Justice for Immigrants.  In this role, Aguirre will work to advocate for immigrants and other vulnerable populations by partnering with other organizations and communicating with our elected officials who set immigration policy and other laws.

“As a migrant myself whose parents fled Nicaragua in the 1980s due to the violence perpetrated by both local and foreign actors, I know firsthand the difficulties and injustices that my community endures,” said Aguirre. “This lived experience has cultivated within me a passion to seek justice; however, it was not until I discovered my faith that I learned how to manifest that passion into action.” 

After undergoing a conversion to Catholicism, Aguirre felt called to begin ministry service, including teaching catechism at St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto. “After my conversion, I was left with a promise that I felt compelled to carry out. This promise quickly transformed to service, both at a parish level and beyond the parish walls,” said Aguirre.

He attended the Ministry Formation Institute’s Continuing Ministry Formation Program (CMFP), which he says reignited his passion for learning and led him to return to school to get his undergraduate degree. Aguirre enjoyed his studies, but was also eager to begin spending more time doing ministry work, which is why he calls his new role here a “blessing.”

Professionally, Aguirre comes from a banking and real estate background. He worked for ten years with JP Morgan Chase as a Relationship Banker, then worked as the Director of Operations for Real Estate Advisors, Inc., before starting his role here.

As Aguirre takes on the new position, his short-term goals are to ensure smooth running of already existing projects here in our Diocese as well as at the state and national level.

“My long-term goals for the Office are to foster the relationships developed by my predecessor across the various ministries at the Pastoral Center, the various parishes, and with our external partners; however, I also intend to expand our list of allies by actively seeking to engage others in dialogue and informing them of the important work this Office carries out,” said Aguirre.

Referencing the words of Pope Francis, Aguirre said that he intends to be a “shepherd who smells like his sheep,” working closely with parish leadership and their communities to assist them and to bring awareness to their concerns to the Diocese and to our elected officials.

“I aim to create a greater presence of the Office within our Diocese so that our community of faith and broader community knows the services that we provide and how we are actively seeking to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Christ,” he said.

Aguirre added he will be taking to heart these words of St. Augustine: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”