Hartford, Conn., Sep 18, 2018 / 10:07 am
Father Juan Miguel Betancourt Torres, a member of the Institute of the Servants of the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary, was appointed auxiliary bishop of Hartford on Tuesday.
“I am honored and grateful to be entrusted with this mission of service in the Lord’s Church,” Fr. Betancourt, 48, said Sept. 18. “My prayers are for my seminary family, for my parish family, and for my new family in the Archdiocese of Hartford.”
Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford said that “the appointment of Father Betancourt is a cause of rejoicing not only for me personally, but for all our clergy, religious and laity. For me and for our clergy it means the welcome arrival of a dedicated co-worker in the Lord’s vineyard who brings a variety of talents and of experience to our shared ministry.”
“For the laity of the archdiocese in all its present-day diversity, Fr. Betancourt’s Hispanic/Latino heritage will only enhance the pastoral care that he will exercise for the good of everyone of every race and ethnicity,” he said.
“For those in religious life, Fr. Betancourt’s membership in the Society of the Servants of the Eucharist and Mary only serves to underscore the value and contribution that consecrated religious men and women make to the good of the Church.”
Fr. Betancourt was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1970.
He entered the Institute of the Servants of the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, a contemplative community which is part of the Schoenstatt Movement and which was founded in Puerto Rico, as a postulant in 1992. He professed vows as a religious in 1994, studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and made perpetual vows in 2000.
He was ordained a priest of the religious institute in 2001, and received a licentiate in scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 2005.
After receiving his licentiate Fr. Betancourt taught scripture at the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico and Regina Cleri Major Seminary, before beginning work in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2006.
Since then, he has been a professor of sacred scripture at the Seminary of Saint Paul and the University of St. Thomas, local superior at the Casa de San José, and pastor of St. James and St. Francis de Sales parish.
Fr. Betancourt currently serves as vice rector and associate academic dean at St. Paul Seminary, in addition to teaching. He is also vicar general of the Society of the Servants of the Eucharist and Mary.
He has served on the Saint Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese's presbyteral council, and is a board member of the National Conference for Seminarians in Hispanic Ministry.
Bishop Andrew Cozzens, auxiliary bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and interim rector of St. Paul Seminary, said: “I have known Father Juan Miguel Betancourt for almost 15 years to be a man of deep prayer and a joyful servant in everything he does. His love for the study of sacred Scripture and his gifts for teaching will be a great blessing for his new episcopal ministry. He is a man who desires to be a servant in all he does, as is reflected in the name of his religious community the Servants of the Eucharist and Mary. We will miss the dedication, his wisdom in formation of men, and his joyful Puerto Rican spirit!”
Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said that Fr. Betancourt's “sharp intellect, pastoral heart and joyful spirit suggest that the Lord has long been preparing him for this new ministry as a successor to the apostles. While he will be sorely missed at St. Francis de Sales parish and at the St. Paul Seminary, where he has served with distinction, I rejoice with the Church of Hartford at this appointment.”
Fr. Betancourt will be consecrated a bishop Oct. 18 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.