‘If they come for you, they come for me’: A ‘dreamer’ priest faces deportation — and a divided congregation

ATLANTA – At Atlanta’s Cathedral of Christ the King, Father Rey Pineda is a parochial vicar serving over the church’s roughly 6,000-family congregation. He is also “the only publicly identified DACA recipient who has used the authorization to become a Catholic priest.”

Father Rey has made no secret of his status as a “dreamer,” and has been lauded by Senator Dick Durbin as a shinning example of who the DACA recipients are and what they provide for our country.

[Click here for Senator Durbin’s focus on Father Rey from the floor of the U.S. Senate]

Rey Pineda’s family traveled across the desert and the U.S./Mexican border to Los Angeles, before settling in Atlanta. Rey was 2 years old when he became an illegal immigrant.

At age 16, he discovered his vocation to the priesthood, and pursued his calling despite knowing that as an undocumented person he could not be ordained. However, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy allowed Rey to be ordained as a priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The Cathedral of Christ the King’s parishioners are diverse, with many of the 6,000 families being Hispanic/Latino or Caucasian. Father Rey’s ministry allows him to speak with these parishioners, many who are undocumented or know somebody who is, with particular strength. However, he also has provided an example of a “dreamer” to many conservative Caucasian parishioners, who respect him and his calling.

For the full story in The Washington Post, click here.