Missionary Cooperative Program

Salesian Missionaries Share Life-Saving Stories

Salesian missionary program Each summer, a special group of Salesian missionaries travels to the United States. In parishes across the country, they will share personal and inspiring stories of their work on behalf of marginalized youth and families around the world -- and we invite you to join them.

"While we strive to communicate -- in letters, magazines, bulletins and emails -- the depth and breadth of our mission and work, nothing can replace the first-hand accounts of our missionaries," says Fr. Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. "In more than 130 impoverished countries around the world, these missionaries are literally in the trenches -- offering comfort, new hope and pathways out of poverty to some of our most vulnerable fellow humans."

This work is only possible thanks to the caring compassion of our friends here at home. Through their participation in our annual Mission Cooperative Program (MCP), more than a dozen Salesian missionaries from several different countries will share stories that demonstrate the power of your support.

Below is a complete list of parishes hosting Salesian missionaries in June and July. Should there be one near where you live, we encourage you to visit and learn how your generosity is making a very real and tangible difference in the lives of children and families in need.

If you have any questions or would like more information about our Missionary Cooperative Program, please email [email protected] or call our Donor Services department at: (914) 633-8344 - Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:30pm EST.


*schedule is subject to change

(S) - Spanish     (SPOF) - Society of the Propagation of the Faith

MISSIONARY PRIEST JUNE 9-10 JUNE 16-17 JUNE 23-24 JUNE 30-JULY 1
Fr. José Hernández Ubaldini Andrade (Uganda)   Our Lady of the Valley Church - Orange, NJ (S) St. Athanasius Church - Bronx, NY (S) Shrine Church of Our Lady of Solace - Brooklyn, NY (S)
Fr. Javier Antonio Barrientos (Zambia) Our Lady of the Rosary - Land O Lakes, FL (S) Most Holy Redeemer Church - Tampa, FL (S) Epiphany Church - South El Monte, CA (S)  
Fr. Francisco Brache (Mexico) Queen of Peace Church - La Marque, TX (S) Our Lady of Guadalupe - Los Angeles, CA (S) Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels - Los Angeles, CA (S)  
Fr. Antonio Gutierrez (Sierra Leone)   Our Lady of Guadalupe Church - Lathrop, CA (S) St. Anthony of Padua - Manteca, CA (S)  
Fr. Marco César Riveros (United States)   Our Lady of Lourdes - Andrews, TX (S) St. Mark the Archangel - Chicago, IL (S) Holy Name of Jesus - Henderson, KY (S)
Fr. James Joseph Perunneparampil (United States)     Christ the King Church - Topeka, KS Church of St. Peter - St. Peter, MN / Church of St. Paul - Nicollet, MN
Fr. Daniel Libby (Sierra Leone)   Sts. John and Paul Parish - Coventry, RI   St. Thomas Aquinas - Sugar Land, TX
Fr. Joseph Pampackal (India) St. Michael's / Our Lady of Guadalupe - Cuero, TX     Holy Cross Church - Salem, NY / St. Patrick - Cambridge, NY
Fr. Devasia Vazhayil (India)     St. Dominic Church - Houston, TX Notre Dame Visitation - Schuylerville, NY / St. Joseph - Greenwich, NY
Fr. Ashok Lawrence Britto Rajasingam (India)   Sacred Heart Cathedral - Raleigh, NC   Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Tenafly, NJ
Fr. George Rodrigues (Sri Lanka)   St. Anthony of Padua - Temperance, MI   Holy Cross Church - Columbus, OH
Fr. Melchoir Tirkey (India) Immaculate Heart of Mary - Dushore, PA St. Brigid Parish - Friendsville, PA St. Joseph - Matamoras / St. Patrick - Milford, PA  
Fr. Mark Hyde (United States) Holy Name of Mary-Assumption - Montgomery, NY (SPOF)   St. John's Parish - Woodstock, NY (SPOF)  

*schedule is subject to change

(S) - Spanish    (SPOF) - Society of the Propagation of the Faith

MISSIONARY PRIEST JULY 7-8 JULY 14-15 JULY 21-22 JULY 28-29
Fr. José Hernández Ubaldini Andrade (Uganda) St. Andrew's RC Church - Westwood, NJ (S) St. John Bosco Parish - Port Chester, NY (S) St. Patrick's Cathedral - New York, NY (S)  
Fr. Javier Antonio Barrientos (Zambia) St. Agatha Church - Los Angeles, CA (S) St. Mary's Church - Fullerton, CA (S) St. Juliana Falconieri Parish - Fullerton, CA Our Lady of Sorrows Church - Corona, NY (S)
Fr. Francisco Brache (Mexico)   Nativity of Our Lady - San Luis Obispo, CA Holy Child Jesus Church - Richmond Hill, NY (S)  
Fr. Antonio Gutierrez (Sierra Leone)   St. James Church - San Francisco, CA (S) St. Gregory Church - San Mateo, CA  
Fr. Marco César Riveros (United States) St. Thomas Aquinas Church - El Paso, TX (S)   St. Victor / Our Lady of Knock - Calumet, IL (S)  
Fr. James Joseph Perunneparampil (United States) Sacred Heart - Murdock, MN / St. Francis - Benson, MN / St. John - Appleton, MN St. Mary's Church - Stamford, CT St. Mary's Church - Simsbury, CT St. Catherine of Siena - West Simsbury, CT
Fr. Daniel Libby (Sierra Leone) St. John the Baptist - Jersey City, NJ Our Lady of Victory - Northville, MI St. Mary's Parish - Pawtucket, RI Holy Name of Jesus- Providence, RI
Fr. Joseph Pampackal (India) St. Joseph - Fort Edward, NY / St. Mary's & St. Paul's - Hudson Falls, NY St. John Bosco Parish - Port Chester, NY   St. Michael Church & St. Teresa - Henryetta, OK
Fr. Devasia Vazhayil (India)   St. John the Baptist - Piermont, NY St. Patrick's Cathedral - New York, NY (Maximilian Kolbe Parish) St. Thomas - Thomaston, CT / St. Casimir & Immaculate Conception - Terryville, CT
Fr. Ashok Lawrence Britto Rajasingam (India) Holy Rosary - Greenwood Lake, NY St. Thomas the Apostle - Glen Mills, PA St. Eugene Church - Primos, PA (Maximilian Kolbe Parish) St. Thomas - Thomaston, CT
Fr. George Rodrigues (Sri Lanka) Holy Family - Columbus, OH St. Agnes Church - Columbus, OH St. Aloysious Church - Columbus, OH St. Anthony Church - Columbus, OH
Fr. Melchoir Tirkey (India)   St. Martin de Porres - New Haven, CT   (Ogdensburg Diocese) St. Patrick - Port Henry, NY / Sacred Heart - Crown Point, NY / All Saints - Mineville, NY
Fr. Mark Hyde (United States)   St. Mary of the Assumption - Katonah, NY (SPOF)   St. Joseph's Church - Somers, NY (SPOF)

*schedule is subject to change

(S) - Spanish    (SPOF) - Society of the Propagation of the Faith

MISSIONARY PRIEST       OCTOBER 27-28
Fr. Mark Hyde (United States)       Parish of St. Theresa & Our Lady of the Wayside - Briarcliff Manor, NY (SPOF)

Fr. Ashok Lawrence Britto Rajasingam

Fr. Ashok Lawrence Britto Rajasingam

Ordained in 2011, and currently assigned to the Salesian province of Tiruchy, India, Fr. Ashok Lawrence Britto Rajasingam has dedicated these early years of his vocation to economically marginalized children and families living in the state of Tamil Nadu. From 2011-2013, he enacted the province’s motto: “Bringing those who are in the periphery to the center.” This was accomplished by providing shelter and rehabilitation, educational and training opportunities, and social and economic development programs for homeless youth, child laborers, victims of exploitation and abuse, and more. Now, as province secretary, he documents and reports on his fellow missionaries’ work across 32 different districts and 12 parishes. A native of India, he holds undergraduate degrees in English, Theology and Philosophy, as well as an MA and a PhD in English.

Fr. George Rodrigues

Fr. George Rodrigues

Born in Mumbai, India, George Rodrigues was academically gifted from an early age -- with great expectations from his family to succeed in business. Nevertheless, he became disillusioned with corporate life almost as soon as he entered it. After a career change and an unfulfilling attempt to earn an MBA degree, he quit both his job, and school, to volunteer with the Salesian community in the Indian state of Assam. There, under the mentorship of Fr. Edward D’Souza, he spent a year (1985-1986) teaching at St. Joseph’s School in Bengtol.

This was an unpopular decision among George’s family members, yet -- through his own perseverance, and Our Lady’s intercession -- he weathered the challenge and joined the Salesian order as an ordained priest on November 24, 1995.

Since that time, Fr. George has served a variety of pastoral, administrative and educational roles in Salesian parishes and schools throughout northeastern and western India, including among the ethnic Garo living in the rural hillsides of Assam. Most recently, after five years as parish priest at Mary, Help of Christians in Tripura Diocese, Fr. George was invited to join the Salesian community in Sri Lanka as a teacher and counselor. He has fulfilled that role for the past three years.

Fr. Melchoir Tirkey

Fr. Melchoir Tirkey

At St. Joseph’s Parish in the remote Kereng borough of Jharkhand, India, Fr. Melchoir Tirkey works to empower vulnerable children and families of the Oraon tribe. Isolated from the conveniences of modern civilization -- electricity, clean water, hospitals, telephone or internet service -- villagers struggle to survive on subsistence farming that depends on adequate rainfall. Most parents do not earn enough money to provide for their families’ basic necessities. Because there are few educational opportunities in Kereng, Fr. Melchoir and his fellow missionaries operate a school for 500 local children. He also oversees a variety of social and economic development initiatives designed to equip residents with the tools they need to pull themselves out of poverty.

Fr. José Hernández Ubaldini Andrade

Fr. José Hernández Ubaldini Andrade

Father José Hernández Ubaldini Andrade was born in Caracas, Venezuela and learned, at an early age, what it meant to be a good Christian and a missionary. The son of a Legion of Mary member, he accompanied his mother to give food to the hungry, and comfort and hope to those who were sick. “I understood that to be a Christian means to leave the house, to go out and meet and share with others, even with the very little we had,” he says. He was also inspired by the many international missionaries who came to his country to offer their hearts and service. “Through them, I had my missionary vocation,” he recalls. “I wanted to imitate their lives, their good works, their sacrifices, dedication and perseverance. I always want to love as they have loved.” When he was called to serve the people of Africa, he answered willingly.

As director of Don Bosco Fambul in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Fr. Uba -- as he is affectionately known -- served thousands of families victimized by the country’s ten-year civil war, especially children who had been orphaned and living on the street. During the tragic Ebola outbreak in West Africa, he led efforts to educate youth about the spread of the disease and encouraged them to teach their families about how to prevent it. More recently, as director of the Don Bosco Boys Home in Sunyani, Ghana, he oversaw comprehensive rehabilitation programs for abandoned, runaway and trafficked children -- including shelter, education and social development services.

This past March, Fr. Uba heeded an urgent call from Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian order, to serve the thousands of South Sudanese refugees living in the Palabek Camp on the northern border of Uganda. Here, he and four other Salesian missionaries provide physical and spiritual comfort to these refugees -- the vast majority of whom are women, children and the elderly seeking relief from violence, drought and famine.

Fr. Joseph Pampackal

As Superior of Don Bosco-Golaghat, Fr. Joseph Pampackal oversees a robust and thriving Salesian community that serves some of the poorest tribes in Rangajan, India -- including the Adivasis, who suffer significant exploitation as laborers on tea estates. Here, primary schools, high schools and nontraditional vocational training centers -- coupled with youth hostels for homeless students and those traveling great distances to attend school -- prepare Adivasi youth for entry into the job market. Students who graduate from technical training programs in automobile mechanics, welding, tailoring, electricity, computers and other courses may also take advantage of job placement services, which Fr. Joseph describes as “transformational.”

Fr. Joseph is excited to share stories of this work, as well as his parish ministry in several area villages -- a responsibility he shares with five other Salesian missionaries.

Fr. Joy Thekkan Kurian

Fr. Joy Thekkan Kurain

After earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Loyola College in Chennai, and Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, respectively, young Joy Kurian entered the professional world—and held increasingly responsible positions at highly reputed national and international companies. But nothing could quiet the voice in his heart that called him to something greater. Born to devout Catholics who instilled, early on, the values of faith, hope and love, Fr. Kurian recalls that he was always “enveloped by a deep personal encounter with the Eucharistic Lord.” So, in 1991, he left the business world behind and entered the pre-novitiate in Tirapattur. On December 26, 1999, he was ordained a Salesian priest.

During the past 17 years, he has served as pastor in several different parishes throughout southeast India. In 2014, the University of Jerusalem conferred an honorary doctorate to Fr. Kurian for his work in the integrated healing ministries.

Fr. Antonio Gutierrez

Fr. Antonio Gutierrez

For the past 30 years, Fr. Antonio Gutierrez has faithfully served in French-speaking West Africa -- most recently at the Salesian community in Bo, Sierra Leone. Here, he seeks to develop the resources and potential of the rural population in Tikonko Chiefdom, with a particular focus on improving educational access and effectiveness.

With meaningful input from the local community, Fr. Antonio recently piloted a successful program in which a modest raise in teachers’ pay resulted in increased student attendance, higher academic achievement, and stronger parental support. Explaining that many teachers do not have a professional degree -- and therefore do not receive a government salary -- Fr. Antonio says, “we spoke with the teachers and saw that they are motivated to do their job; but who can come to class and work if they do not get paid?” Moving forward, he hopes to replicate this model in four other schools, “to the extent that we can and according to the needs and collaboration of each one.” In the end, the ones who truly benefit from this program are the children.

Together with two fellow missionaries, Fr. Antonio also oversees several urban and rural parishes comprised of more than 1,000 members. Soon, they hope to build a secondary school, youth center, church and residence on a parcel of land owned by the Salesian community.

Fr. Javier Antonio Barrientos

Fr. Javier Antonio Barrientos

Fr. Javier Antonio Barrientos first professed his intention to join the Salesians in 1995 at the age of 21. A native Peruvian, he attended the University of Lima -- where he earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy and education -- before embarking upon his first missionary assignment to Zambia in 1999. In 2001, he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to complete his theological studies before returning to Zambia in 2005 as an ordained priest. Since 2014, Fr. Javier has served as rector of St. James Parish in Mansa -- a community particularly affected by poor economic conditions and the challenges of rural living. In addition to 16 mission centers, the parish operates an elementary and a secondary school, where impoverished children can access desperately needed education.

Fr. Horacio Macal

Fr. Horacio Macal

Born in Guatemala City and ordained in 1987, Fr. Macal has served his entire vocation in the Salesian province of Central America—in his native country as well as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. He is currently president of the Asosiaciόn Congregaciόn Salesiana de Nicaragua (ACSN).

Fr. Marco César Riveros

Fr. Marco César Riveros

Fr. Marco César Riveros was born on November 13, 1973 in Cúcuta, Colombia. Following his ordination in 2003, he first served as the youth minister at Colegio San Medardo in Neiva, leading student retreats and developing the school’s religious curriculum. In 2006, he was appointed provincial delegate for youth ministry for the Bogota province. This responsibility later grew to include a vocational ministry for the Salesian family. Between 2009 and 2013, Fr. Marco served as pastor of the Salesian parish, and rector of the Salesian school, in Contratación. During the summer of 2016, he engaged in a direct ministry for homeless youth in Medellín.

Currently assigned to St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago, Fr. Marco oversees its social outreach program, Caridades de Cristo Resucitado, which feeds and clothes homeless people in the city and serves families in need of food assistance. He teaches catechist training classes and serves the sacramental needs of the parishioners.

Fr. James Joseph Perunneparampil

Fr. James Joseph Perunneparampil

Since his ordination to the priesthood on January 12, 1991, Fr. James Joseph Perunneparampil has fulfilled a variety of roles for which he is well qualified. With a PhD in Clinical Psychology, two master’s degrees in Counseling and Psychology, and three bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Theology and English Literature, he has served as an educator, counselor, administrator and pastor. Previous to his current position as parochial vicar at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Cathedral in Chicago, he taught college-level psychology and religion courses, and a variety of high-school subjects, at four different institutions in his home country of India. At St. Anthony’s College in Shillong, India, he served three years as supervisor, four years as campus counselor and six years as its administrator. In 2008, he came to the United States, serving as associate pastor and pastor at several parishes in Nebraska and Texas. Throughout, he has counseled children, families, adolescents, college students, couples and the elderly in both clinical and pastoral settings.

Fr. Francisco Brache

Fr. Francisco Brache

Fr. Francisco Brache first announced his intention to become a Salesian priest at the age of 14 -- when he entered the seminary in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. After three years, he moved to Havana, Cuba to complete high school and his novitiate, then studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Ponce in Puerto Rico. In 1965, after gaining several years of experience as a teacher in Turin, Italy and pursuing his studies in theology, he was ordained at the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians.

Between then and his most recent assignment in Guadalajara, Mexico, Fr. Francisco served as a pastoral worker and administrator in several Salesian high schools across his native Dominican Republic. Today, he advises four Dominican theology students, and five Dominican novices, who are pursuing their studies in Guadalajara. Each weekend, he travels to the suburbs to celebrate Mass and support a community of 150 parishioners.

Fr. Edwin D'Souza

Fr. Edwin D'Souza

Fr. D'Souza was born in a small town in northwest India in 1954. For the first ten years following his ordination in 1984, he served in a variety of administrative roles at Salesian centers and schools across India. After six years as the Provincial Economer of the Province of Mumbai, Fr. D'Souza returned to school—earning a Masters in Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling from Fordham University in 2002. Upon his return to Mumbai, he became Rector of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, a role he continues to fulfill today.

Fr. Daniel Libby

Fr. Daniel Libby

Born and raised in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, Fr. Daniel Libby was fortunate to escape the devastating effects of his country’s brutal civil war. Shortly after graduating high school, he and his family fled to safety in Guinea Conakry. Yet, when he ultimately returned to Freetown -- and witnessed just how many children’s futures had been compromised by violence, poverty and despair -- he felt called to help. “I met the Salesians in Freetown and that was when I decided to join them,” he says.

After completing his philosophy studies in Tanzania, Fr. Daniel completed two years of practical training at Don Bosco Fambul in Freetown, where he served homeless youth in crisis. Following his ordination, on July 20, 2013, he was assigned as a community administrator, chaplain and teacher at Don Bosco Technical High School in Monrovia, Liberia. In 2015, he transferred home, to the Mary, Help of Christians community in Lungi, Sierra Leone. Here, as principal of St. Augustine’s Agricultural Junior Secondary School, he helps young men and women realize the opportunities that education can bring.

Fr. Mariyadas Marneni

Fr. Mariyadas Marneni

Born in India and the youngest of twelve children, Fr. Marneni is no stranger to the needs of his country's youth. In the years since his ordination in 1995, this 48-year-old Salesian has focused almost exclusively on serving school children, street kids and those living in the slums in some of India's most populated areas. Recently, Fr. Marneni became Director of the Don Bosco Institute, Ongole—where rural and impoverished youth can learn skilled trades and participate in internship programs to increase their chances of future employment.

Fr. Edward D'Souza

Fr. Edward D'Souza For the four years immediately following his ordination in 1969, Fr. D’Souza dedicated himself to reviving a true institution: The Don Bosco Oratory at Panjim, Goa, India. First established in 1946 to serve impoverished youth in their journey to become responsible and active members of society, the Oratory had recently ceased to exist. With focused effort and steadfast faith, Fr. D’Souza not only re-launched its activities, he shepherded it to what is still remembered as the “Grand Old Days of the Oratory.” His true love, however, was on-the-ground missionary work, and so Fr. D’Souza volunteered to serve in the northeast Indian state of Assam. For the next 40 years, he has set up and worked in new parishes and schools, helped build new churches and chapels, and personally brought thousands of people to the faith—often while battling malaria and typhoid fever. Today, he works at a new Salesian center in Ramfalbil, where he oversees the operations for several parish mission centers as well as for a school that serves close to 1,000 students in grades K-12.

Fr. Jesse Montes

Fr. Jesse Montes

Each day, Fr. Montes thanks St. John Bosco for his 40 years of Salesian consecrated life -- and for the charism that instills his vocation with true passion for what he does. With degrees in theology, counseling and theater arts, Fr. Montes has taught and inspired Los Angeles-area high school students; founded the St. Francis Young Actors' Guild; studied the Latino drop-out issue in L.A. on behalf of the Ford Foundation; worked with migrant families; ministered to patients at White Memorial Hospital in his role as Catholic Chaplain; and much more. Presently the Vice Director of the Salesian community in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, and pastor of St. Mary's Church, Fr. Montes truly not only "likes, but loves" what he does.

Fr. Joseph Farias

Fr. Joseph Farias

Fr. Joseph Farias' biography will be posted soon.

Fr. Rafael Saiz

Fr. Rafael Saiz

Fr. Rafael Saiz's biography will be posted soon.

Fr. Abundio Abacajan Bacatan

Fr. Abundio Abacajan Bacatan

"Fr. Boni," as he's affectionately known in his home and country of service, the Philippines, first professed his desire to join the Salesians at the young age of 12. Ordained in 2005 and now 41, Fr. Boni has served most of his priesthood in Cebu City -- an area that was struck by a massive earthquake, followed by Typhoon Haiyan, in the fall of 2013. This coming September, he will move to the province of Iloilo, where he will work with impoverished youth at a Salesian boys' home and vocational school.

Fr. Mark Hyde

Fr. Mark Hyde

Fr. Mark Hyde, SDB, director of Salesian Missions, USA (based in New Rochelle, New York) has served in Salesian Missions in the Bahamas as a young priest and after the earthquake in Haiti, helped with emergency relief and reconstruction efforts there. During these past years, he has visited Salesian Missions in Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Haiti, India, Mexico, Poland, Spain and Sri Lanka. As Director of Salesian Missions, USA, Fr. Mark seeks to support the work of Salesian Missions and Salesian missionaries in over 130 countries around the world in their task of proclaiming the Gospel, educating to the faith, and giving young people and families the skills they need to be useful and productive members of their communities.

Fr. Felix Arulnathan

Fr. Felix Arulnathan

Fr. Arulnathan is a passionate defender of India’s most vulnerable populations—children, women, “dalits” (the “untouchables”), prisoners, and others. With more than 22 years working on their behalf—15 as an ordained Salesian priest—he has helped empower those who have been marginalized by society to find new dignity and new hope. In addition to his undergraduate degrees in philosophy and theology, Fr. Arulnathan holds a master’s in sociology with a certificate in counseling and guidance.

Fr. Devasia Vazhayil

Fr. Devasia Vazhayil

Since his ordination in 1985, Fr. Devasia Vazhayil has served the educational and pastoral needs of aspiring priests and lay persons alike. He has acted as dean of studies at the Shillong (India) diocese seminary; directed the Shillong retreat center; and continues to teach at the Salesian theological seminary in the same city -- something he has done for the past 25 years.

Today, Fr. Devasia is also the rector of Immaculate Conception Parish in Mawkyndeng, a rural agricultural area approximately 50 miles east of Shillong. “The people here live a difficult life,” he reflects, “and they need help achieving economic empowerment.” The parish operates 14 primary schools spread across 17 villages, as well as a large central school with 900 students. Assisted by three Salesian priests, two Salesian sisters, and lay staff, Fr. Devasia offers spiritual care to parishioners.