Lexington couple build vibrant Catholic ministry with Hispanic community


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Press Release) – Deacon James and Dorothy Bennett met in the 1960s and both had a passion for serving the ever-growing Hispanic community in Kentucky.

The two were announced as finalists for Catholic Extension’s annual Lumen Christi Award for their ongoing ministry to have a positive impact on the lives of the Hispanic community in need. Latin for the “Light of Christ,” the Lumen Christi Award is the highest honor bestowed on a missionary working in the United States.

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The Bennetts are among the eight finalists.

Their resources, innovation, and compassion has allowed them to build a new Hispanic ministry center, the St. Juan Diego Center, which will open in fall 2020. Featuring a chapel and community center, the St. Juan Diego Center will fill a sizable gap in resources available to more than 10,000 Hispanic residents in the area.

It’s mission is to provide basic health and human services to those in need, to bring people
back to Christ, and inspire others to give back to their community.

Whether Deacon James is driving 250 miles on Sunday to preach six Masses in Spanish, or Dorothy’s tireless efforts to support the administration of CCD classes, they are on a mission and determined to better the lives of the Hispanic community.

Catholic Extension, a Chicago-based papal society, raises funds to help build faith communities and churches in poor and isolated Catholic dioceses. Each of the organization’s Lumen Christi Award nominees and finalists are hidden heroes in our midst who are serving their communities selflessly to bring life and hope to the forgotten corners of our country.