Today, the word “pastor” hardly describes this dynamo who propels a flock of 60 — most of them Dominican immigrants of modest means — round the clock and through the week. Teacher, chief cheerleader and social director, he is even the chauffeur who ferries them to services all over town in a secondhand airport van, usually after eight hours at a factory job making luxury handbags.
To the adults, he is the confidant who counsels them through crises. To the teenagers, he is the surrogate father who praises them and takes them on outings. To the needy, he is the benefactor who slips them a little cash. To all, he is the leader who promises a glorious future in a grand new church, even though they have saved a small fraction of the fortune it would cost.
“Pelea, pelea, pelea,” he murmured one night as he made his rounds in the church van, mouthing the words to a hymn. Fight, fight, fight.
Read it all here.