National News

California Pastor of Immigrant Parish Honored with Lumen Christi Award

CHICAGO (CNS) – Today, Greenfield in California’s Salinas Valley looks and feels different because Father Enrique Herrera believed the Catholic Church could make life better for the city’s residents, according to Chicago, Ill.-based Catholic Extension.

For his efforts in the Catholic community and the wider community, Catholic Extension has chosen Father Herrera to receive the 2017-18 Lumen Christi Award, its highest honor.

The priest, who is pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Greenfield, in the Diocese of Monterrey, will officially receive the award during a Mass at his parish Dec. 10. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the award.

When arrived at Holy Trinity and saw parishioners were struggling to feed their families and had few opportunities for a brighter future, he decided that his parish would become a beacon of hope. Together with parishioners, Father Herrera started programs that focused on strengthening faith, education and community.

“Hearts were opened. Individuals started changing. Families started changing. Neighborhoods started changing. … The Police Department, Fire Department, school officials, City Council and mayor all got on board,” Catholic Extension said in announcing the