Biography of Father Mike Seifert

September 9, 2008
Father Mike Seifert is a member of the Marist Fathers and Brothers, part of a Marist family of priests, brothers, sisters and lay groups. The Marists claim a sense of being called by Mary to live compassionately and mercifully. From the founding of the Marist Fathers and Brothers in the early 19th century, the group has worked in ways that are relational and inclusive, and this spirit is very much reflected in the work Fr. Seifert does every day as the pastor of San Felipe de Jesus Church in Brownsville, Texas, a parish in the poorest section of Brownsville — an area known as Cameron Park. It is here that Fr. Seifert and other Marists live out a commitment to serve the un-served.

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According to Seifert, the average annual income for a family of four is $8,000, and as a result, Seifert and his Marist colleagues work diligently to respond to the pressing social needs such poverty invariably presents.

Perhaps the most pressing problem the Brownsville area of Cameron Park is a lack of quality health care for the people who inhabit the area. At San Felipe de Jesus, a parish nurse program and a weekend clinic staffed by medical student volunteers from the University of Texas at Galveston, eight hours away, have grown into a full-scale clinic and Frontera de Salud, a statewide organization of medical students. Frontera forms partnerships with existing health centers to extend services in needy communities. Here, the missions of church, students and clinic have intertwined to bring health care to a community that otherwise had no access to it.

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