Father Jesús Belmontes brings a heart for organization — specifically to immigrant — to Dallas’ Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin the Guadalupe.

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Father Jesus Belmontes blesses his congregation at san Juan Diego Catholic Church in Dallas throughout Mass top top June 12, 2021.(Brandon go / special Contributor)
Father Jesús Belmontes is an extremely clear around his goal: He desires to make the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin that Guadalupe a sanctuary close come the people, particularly to immigrants.

Beginning July 1, he will be the brand-new rector of the Cathedral of Guadalupe, the most crucial church of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Appointed by Bishop Edward J. Burns, Belmontes is replacing father Stephen Bierschenk, that will it is in the new chaplain the St. Jude Chapel in Dallas.

After immigrating native Mexico to Dallas almost two decades ago, Belmontes will certainly be a main figure in the diocese. He claimed he plan to continue his work-related as pastor of immigrant in need, only now from the Cathedral.


For 12 years, Belmontes served as minister of the san Juan Diego parish, in a Northwest Dallas area near Bachman Lake that has actually a huge Hispanic population.


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Jesús Belmontes was minister of the san Juan Diego parish in northwest Dallas for 12 years. While there, the led a crusade to help the area’s most breakable immigrants.(Vernon Bryant / employee Photographer)

San Juan Diego has been well-known as one of the most active Catholic neighborhoods of north Texas.


The church consistently hosts events attracting huge crowds, and its pastor enjoys credibility amongst his congregation.

“There are no native to describe the job-related of father Jesús and also how he has constructed this neighborhood of assist and love because that the neighbor,” stated Margarito “Junior” García, deputy director of the hospitality ministry at san Juan Diego.

“It’s incredible to view how people overflow indigenous the church and stand in the corridors listening to Mass,” García said. “That doesn’t take place in various other parishes.”


The immigrant priest

Belmontes, 47, to be born in Zamora, Michoacán, a Catholic Church bulwark in Mexico and one the the country’s many conservative regions, wherein Catholicism plays crucial role in families and the community’s social life.

When he to be 5 or 6, Belmontes emigrated through his parents and eight siblings to Dallas.


After a brief stay, the family chose to separate, because his parental didn’t like the harsh climate of extreme cold and heat.

So they returned to Mexico with their youngest children, with Jesús Belmontes among them. Few of the grown-ups, that were already in their 20s, stayed to work.

At age 10, Belmontes experienced the ordination the his earliest brother, José Eugenio, who is 15 year older than him.


For Belmontes, it was a transforming point — and also he chose that he, too, would end up being a priest when he thrived up.

“I was highly captivated by his ordination. I tried to imitate him,” Belmontes said. “I realized God to be calling top top me to offer him, too.”

From very early age, Belmontes had actually a desire to return to the U.S. To occupational as a monk in Dallas, due to the fact that his family was here.


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Belmontes claimed his goals include to put a renewed emphasis on treating parishoners through compassion and also to boost attendance. "The pandemic has hit the church overall," he said. "We have actually to bring people back.”(Brandon wade / one-of-a-kind Contributor)

“We provided to come after ~ vacation. I became interested in the community’s ways and also the need Hispanics had actually of having actually someone celebrate Mass and also looking after castle in their very own language,” he said.


“The white clergymans made a good effort come speak Spanish. However I thought there was a require for someone who spoke that well.”

Jesús Belmontes studied for the priesthood in his native Zamora. Once he finished, he come in Dallas as a deacon with a restricted command the English.

Belmontes was ordained and incorporated right into the Dallas Diocese in 2004.


He offered in the parishes the St. Edward in Dallas and also Immaculate Conception in cool Prairie, prior to being named the minister of san Juan Diego, whereby he led a crusade to help the area’s most fragile immigrants.

Dallas community leaders have recognized Belmontes’ occupational in helping the spain community.

“Father Jesús is a truly dynamic leader, and also a pastor that is do a difference in our community,” stated Dave Woodyard, chairman of Catholic Charities the Dallas.


“He is a man constantly willing to help other people and who is constantly looking for the an excellent of all,” stated Eddie Reyes, leader that the Unidos department of the Dallas Police Department.

“There are no words to describe Father Jesús’ kindness and commitment,” said Josephine López-Paul, organizer the Dallas Area Interfaith.

“It is an respect to occupational with that in acquiring food and rent support for people. He has actually been a key figure for Dallas’ neediest Hispanics during this pandemic.”


A new challenge

Even despite he still doesn’t have actually a detailed arrangement for what that will carry out at the Cathedral, Belmontes said he already has some general ideas about the brand-new position he will take on July 1.

“The Cathedral has had actually a synopsis in flock. The pandemic has hit the church overall. We have actually to carry people back”, Belmontes said.


“My plan is come lift the Cathedral spiritually and also financially,” he said. “We can’t offer out financial help because an initial we have to know in what situation it is. The pandemic influenced the church’s finances in every sense.”

Belmontes’ arrangement is to turn the church right into a place of support and also solace for the neediest Catholics and continue the social occupational that he’s been doing at mountain Juan Diego.

There will be no huge staff alters in the Cathedral, that said. Instead, he will work-related for community commitment and also a change of consciousness.


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“Sometimes we lose the target and also we forget the the church is not a corporation, however a family members of human being looking for God. Some come an ext damaged 보다 others, and also we should be tactful and also treat lock all v kindness, love and also patience.”

Belmontes said he will work an initial on accept of those who will work-related with him and the new community he will serve, which is an ext diverse than the one he looked after in san Juan Diego.


Though rather nervous since he claimed he feeling his English is much from perfect, he to know the Cathedral will offer him the chance to preach to every kinds of civilization — native corporate executives that attend Mass during their having lunch hour come those that live in the streets.

On his appointment, Belmontes said, the bishop told him that his main task will certainly be to revitalize the diocese’s most crucial church and attract the ar Hispanic community.

Belmontes claimed he will certainly favor Catholics’ spiritual celebrations, consisting of the job of the Virgin of Guadalupe and also the day of the Dead, because they unite world in faith and community spirit.


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Imelda García, Reportera de Al Día Dallas / Reporter at Al Dia Dallas. Imelda escribe sobre migración y comunidades hispanas del Norte de Texas. Imelda writes around immigration and also Hispanic neighborhoods in phibìc Texas.

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