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New priest leading Sacred Heart parish

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By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

The Rev. Victor Olvida calls it a "period of immersion" - wading into his role as leader of Enumclaw's Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a position he assumed this month.

Olvida fills the vacancy left by The Rev. Jim Northrup, who was reassigned by the Seattle archdiocese, one year early, to duties at St. Brendan Church in Bothell, Wash.

Olvida, born and raised in the Philippines, comes, most recently, from the Washington coast where he was priest and administrator for both St. Mary's parish in Seaview and St. Lawrence parish in Raymond. Prior to that, he was a parochial vicar at St. Anthony's in Renton, St. Edward's in south Seattle and in the Skagit Valley area.

He speaks four languages - English, Spanish and two from his native country.

He will also serve as priest administrator for St. Aloysius in Buckley and Our Lady of Lourdes in Wilkeson. The Rev. Daniel Chiezey is serving both those parishes' daily duties as parochial vicar.

Just into the beginning of his term here, Olvida is concentrating on learning about the Sacred Heart community. As a parish three times bigger than St. Mary's and St. Lawrence combined, Sacred Heart offers many more programs, a larger staff and a broader community outreach.

Olvida said he is working to get to know all the aspects of the church community, and Sacred Heart staff and parishioners have been very helpful.

During his stay at Sacred Heart, Olvida said he hopes to strengthen the church's liturgical life through the celebration of the sacraments, invite people to participate in the church's many programs and deepen and nurture their faith.

"I would like to encourage people to participate in the life and activities of the church, so their God-given gifts can be shared through our volunteer ministry," Olvida said.

He also looks forward to building a strong bond with the church's pastoral lay leadership like its parish counsel and finance counsel. To work together with the staff and the leaders of different committees and organizations, will help him, he said, with his administration and ministry.

"In order to be an effective minister I need to understand and listen to them - to be open to their ideas, insights and gifts," he said.

"I'd also like to know their names. God calls us by name," he laughs. "Why? Because if we know names there is a certain intimacy in that and companionship in that."

Sacred Heart offers Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday. A Spanish Mass is offered at 1 p.m. Sunday. A full list of programs and schedules is available at www.sacredheartenumclaw.-com.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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