Juan Escarfuller, MA, MDiv
Juan Escarfuller was born and raised in the Dominican Republic until his family immigrated to New Orleans at age seven. Inspired by Catholic social teaching, he is committed to do justice work with immigrants and their US-born, Spanglish-speaking children. At Fe y Vida, Juan currently serves as Executive Director and ministers to train the next generation of Latinos to lead in the church and society. He does this by creating an interactive space for jóvenes to stand up, speak up, challenge assumptions - hacer lío – test new things, make mistakes, learn, contribute, and discern vocation and purpose on the way to heaven.
To this work he brings experience and passion for the universe of diverse Catholic spiritual traditions and practices, Latino youth human and leadership development, dismantling racism, and biblical lay preaching naming God's grace here and now in the lives of young people and their immigrant families.
T'was grace that led him from directing Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, to managing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center the first-ever community-engaged intervention that reduced obesity in Latin@ preschoolers, to assisting Spanish-speaking parents navigate U.S. public school systems so their children graduate and have the option to gain admission to and afford college.
Juan gives a grateful shout out to faith-filled, community-organizing Catholics who walked with him and converted him to believe sí se puede. They got to his soul with their witness to 1) God's unconditional love – no matter what, 2) an ecclesiology of church as the people of God, and 3) laity fully co-responsible in Jesus' mission of healing, reconciling, and critical, truth-to-power storytelling for peace and justice.
His camino of conversion and purpose continues as father of four children all U.S.-born who are now a tween, a teen, and two young adults, all of whom keep him honest, awestruck, and curious about what's around the riverbend!