New pastor focuses on faith formation

Jun 9, 2023
As Bishop John Noonan, right, observes, Father Ralph DuWell, left, pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Lady Lake and vicar forane of the Northern Deanery, signs papers as a witness to the installation of installed Father Hector Vazquez Saad, center, as pastor of St. Clare Parish in Deltona June 3, 2023. GLENDA MEEKINS | FC

DELTONA | With a new pastor and big plans for a rekindled faith formation program, St. Clare’s Parish in Deltona has much to celebrate. Bishop John Noonan officially installed Father Hector Vazquez Saad on June 3, 2023.

Father Saad is ready to continue his great work. Since 2018, he’s completed renovation of the church and began cleaning up campus. Parishioners polished up the St. Clare statue and dug out beautiful stones for the prayer garden next to the parking lot. They’re working on plans for a new chapel and updated classrooms. Father Saad will use those classrooms for faith formation for all ages, noting much of his congregation is more than 50 years old and retired. He also plans to reach out to the community and partner with Catholic Charities of Central Florida to collaborate on affordable housing. “I want to improve the pastoral life of the community by having more people involved,” said Father Saad. “More parishioners are coming with the advent of many babies being brought to Baptism since COVID. I love that because it means the Church is growing. St. Clare is a very special place.”

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, June 9, 2023