Fr. David Vargas Grajales is originally from Aguada, Puerto Rico. His parents, Celso and Rosalia, raised fourth children; Fr. David is the second one. He began his primary studies in his native town, and at the age of sixteen, he entered the Augustinian Seminary “St. Thomas of Villanova”, in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. After his first year of formation, the formation team sent David to the Seminary “St. Alonso de Orozco” in the Dominican Republic. He completed his philosophical studies at the Pontifical University Mother and Teacher (Madre y Maestra) of the Dominican Republic and the Central University of Bayamon, obtaining then his Bachelors Degree in Arts/ Philosophy in the year 1995/1996. In 1996 Fr. David went to Colombia and Perú for his year of Noviciate. He completed this stage of formation at the Convent Our Lady of Grace in Lima, Perú and professed simple vows (Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience) on May 17, 1998, at Parish Our Lady of Monserrate in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
He pursued his studies in theology at the Lateran University of Rome, Italy- obtaining his Master’s Degree. He also completed his certification in Augustinians Spirituality at the Institute of Augustinianum, Rome- Italy. Fr. David decided to consecrate his entire life to God with the Solemn Vows at the International House Saint Monica- Rome- Italy on May 26, 2001. His Diaconate Ordination on August 12, 2002, at the Parish Our Lady of Monserrate of Santurce, Puerto Rico. By the hand of Monsignor Daniel Turley, Bishop of Chulucanas, Perú he received his Priesthood Ordination on January 12, 2002, in his native town of Aguada, Puerto Rico. Father David continued his higher education at the University of Sacred Heart of Santurce, Puerto Rico and New York University, NY obtaining his Masters and Doctorate in Education in the year 2007.
His Pastoral experience has been very diverse:
2001-2007 served as Director of the Augustinian Education Consortium and parochial vicar in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
2007-2010- Archdiocese of San Juan Puerto Rico- Vicar of Education and Parochial Administrator at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico and Perpetuo Socorro, Miramar, Puerto Rico. Professor in the Higher Institute of Theology of the Archdiocese of San Juan.
2010-2013- Archdiocese of Chicago, IL- Parochial Vicar- St Rita of Cascia Parish and Professor in the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ilinois. Institutional Program for Pastoral Leadership and Permanent Diaconate.
2013- Cooperating Vicar at Saint Joseph Parish in Lakeland, Florida.
2016- Parochial Administrator of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Lake Wales, Florida.
He has directed workshops, conferences, courses and retreats at various Dioceses, Universities, and Religious education centers in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and the U.S.
Jessica is our parish office manager who is bilingual (Spanish/English). Intelligent and gracious a graduate of Polk State College, she is responsible for managing Facebook Page, and Holy Spirit Website. Additionally, Jessica fields phone calls/emails for Fr. David and helps coordinate his appointment schedule and assists our business manager in administration duties of the parish and office. Jessica assist Fr. David with social parish events, marriage files, coordinating baptisms, weddings, just to name a few duties at the office. She has been a member of Holy Spirit since 2002 always ready to help parishioners as well as staff members and parish ministries in all their needs.
Jennifer is our receptionist who is bilingual (spanish and English). She answers calls, welcomes and greets our parishioners and assists them in registering, answering any questions etc. She is in charge of the monitors, she assists Jessica and Fr. David in other office tasks and is very knowledgeable and friendly. We are happy to have Jennifer at our office!
Terri has served the diocese of Orlando since 1990 as Director of Faith Formation and Youth Ministry. She has been married 32 years to the same wonderful man. John and Terri have two grown children. Terri was born and raised in Indiana. She still hasn’t lost the northern accent; just talk with her and you will quickly understand. Terri is also a die- hard Cubs fan! Terri also likes hiking, gardening, writing and especially spending time with family! Terri has felt called to serve the church since she was in 7th grade while attending St. Mary’s of the Lake grade school, in Gary, IN., she was an active member of the notorious “God Squad”. To Terri, Faith Formation, and Youth Ministry is not simply a job; it is a calling from God that must be taken seriously. It is her honor to be able to help children and teenagers develop a meaningful relationship with God and to assist them in better understanding our faith. She is caring and always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone at any time, she is a true example of a disciple of God on Earth.
-Graduate of Loyola University Limex Ministry Program,
-Master Catechist Certification Diocese of Orlando,
-Certified Religious Education and Youth Ministries Director through Diocese of Orlando Certification Program,
-DCCP Instructor (Diocesan Catechetical Certification Program)
From Puerto Rico, graduated in Inter american University from Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus(Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ponce)with a Bachelor degree (Cum Laude) in Computer Science with a different knowledge in different computer programming languages, Website development and Graphical Design. He had different roles in the Catholic Church in the Ponce Diocese (In Puerto Rico) as Faith Formation Teacher (4 Years), Lead Assessor in the community Youth Ministry (Called “Protagonistas de Cristo”) (4 years) and Eucharist Minister of Holy Communion (3 years). Now he collaborate in our Parish in the development and maintenance of the website and all related in the Information Technologies of the Parish.
Father David Vargas
Deacon Sam Knight: (863)-638-1231
Deacon Joe Iskra
Fr. Gordon Polenz
Fr. Ray Zeugner
Faith Formation Director for Children, Youth & Adult:
Robert Melnitzke & Nicholas Lindaman