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Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
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Newport News, VA 23606-3071
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Latino/Latina/Latinx Ministries
A ministry to Virginia's Eastern Shore and a resource for parish leaders.


Support Virgina's Latino communities, hard hit by COVID-19 pandemic
Virginia's Eastern Shore and the Latino community are among the hardest hit during this pandemic. Latino Missioner Mario Melendez offers the following suggestion for how you can support this community through this crisis. Gift cards (from $10 to $20) for Food Lion and Walmart, and for gas stations (like WaWa, Royal Farms, and Sunoco) are welcome, allowing families to buy food, gas, toiletries, and any other items they need. Cards can be sent directly to the Rev. Mario Melendez at Church of the Holy Apostles, 1593 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23453. Questions? Contact Mario at mmelendez@diosova.org or 757-427-0963.

Latino Missioner - The Rev. Mario Melendez

The Rev. Mario Meléndez joins diocesan staff June 1, 2019 as Missioner for Latino/Latina Ministries. In this role, Mario will help the Diocese to determine communities where Latino ministry needs exist and assist in the development of those ministries. Congregations seeking to implement or expand ministry to the Latino community can turn to Mario for information and resources.

Mario MelendezIn addition to his diocesan role as Latino/Latina Missioner, Mario is also the Episcopal chaplain and co-pastor at Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach, an Episcopal and Roman Catholic ecumenical community. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and was received into the Episcopal Church while pursuing an undergraduate degree in religious studies at Purdue University. Mario attended seminary at Boston University School of Theology, graduating with a Master of Theological Studies. After graduation, Mario was ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada and served in the Diocese of Western Newfoundland. He is married to Catherine Wallace de Meléndez. She is a registered nurse in the area of oncology and hematology working with children. They have a corgi puppy named Ripley.

Mario has started a ministry of presence and the intersection of theology and popular culture called Coffee with Father Mario. You can follow him on Twitter @coffeeFrMario and on his Facebook page "Coffee with Father Mario."

Mario is excited about this new chapter in his ministry. "I always try to remember what is the anchor and the reason for any ministry in the Church: it is el Evangelio de Cristo, the Gospel of Christ. I look forward to this holy work in the diocese and beyond." 

Resources for Latino Ministry can be found on our Congregational Development page.

Latino Ministries on the Eastern Shore

For more information on the work of this ministry, visit www.dossantosfoodpantry.org.

Video: Latino Ministries for the Eastern Shore


Last Published: July 16, 2020 3:37 PM