New pastors: A mix of new, familiar faces

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Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde announced the following new pastors June 8. The priests will assume their new roles June 26.

Father James C. Hudgins, newly appointed pastor of St. Jude Church in Fredericksburg, was born May 11, 1970, in Clayton, Mo., to parents Peggy and David. When he was 10 years old, the family moved to Arlington, where he attended St. Agnes School and Bishop O'Connell High School. In 1992, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

Immediately following college graduation, Father Hudgins began his priestly formation at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa. While a seminarian, he worked and studied Spanish in Puebla, Mexico, for two summers, augmenting his 1990 study at the University of Granada in Spain.

He served at St. Leo the Great Church in Fairfax during his diaconate year.

Father Hudgins was ordained May 16, 1998, by former Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh. His first assignment was as parochial vicar of Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria. In 2002, he was appointed parochial vicar of All Saints Church in Manassas.

Father Hudgins became parochial vicar of St. Luke Church in McLean in 2006. From 2007 to 2011, he served as chaplain and assistant principal of O'Connell. In 2011, he was appointed parochial administrator of St. Jude.

Missionhurst Father Ramel O. Portula, newly appointed pastor of St. Ann Church in Arlington, was born Jan. 5, 1972, in Leyte, Philippines, to parents Alfredo and Milagros.

Father Portula grew up in a religious family and expressed an early interest in joining the seminary. After graduating high school at St. Mary's Academy in Palo, Leyte, in 1988, he was admitted to the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart Maryshore Mission Seminary.

In 1992, he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Philippines, and joined the novitiate. He professed his first vows in 1993 and then completed a master's in theology at Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City, Philippines, in 1997.

Shortly after completing his theology studies in 1997 in Manila, Father Portula was sent to the United States to continue his missionary training at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. Over the course of his studies, he worked in pastoral care to HIV/AIDS-infected children at Providence Home in San Antonio, spent time studying Spanish at the Cuernavaca Language School in Morelos, Mexico, and spent a summer working in clinical pastoral education at the Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans.

In 1998, Father Portula was assigned to Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, where he worked as a minister-in-training before he was ordained to the priesthood in 2000 at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral in Leyte, Philippines.

Following his ordination, Father Portula served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph the Worker Church in McAllen, Texas, from 2000 to 2002, and St. Eugene Church in the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., from 2002 to 2006.

After nine months of formation at the Institute of Religious Formation at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Father Portula served in the Maryhurst Seminary in Baguio City in the Philippines from 2007 to 2011. In 2010, he was appointed vice provincial of his province. In 2011, he became provincial superior. In January of this year, he was transferred back to the United States, and for the past five months, Father Portula has been on a sabbatical at the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, Calif.

Father Leopoldo M. Vives, a member of the Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, is the newly appointed pastor of Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria. He was born May 14, 1963, in Madrid to Blas Vives and Paloma Soto. He was ordained a priest Oct. 24, 1992, in Cuenca, Spain, and took his perpetual vows as a Disciple of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Jan. 1, 1995, in Cuenca.

He earned a master's of advanced studies in 1987 from the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid, specializing in electronic engineering. He earned a bachelor's in sacred theology in 1993 and a licentiate in sacred theology in 1995 from the School of Theology of Burgos, Spain. In 2011, Father Vives earned a doctorate in sacred theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University.

Father Vives has written eight books, 14 articles and presented his papers at various conferences.

The year he was ordained, Father Vives preached on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola to couples, seminarians, women religious and youths. From 2004 to 2008, he was director of the Office of Family and Life Ministry of the Spanish Conference of Catholic Bishops. He served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Beatrice of Silva Church in Córdoba, Spain, 2008-11, and of St. Mary Church in Littleton, Colo., from 2011 until the present.

His teaching experience includes serving as assistant of electrotechnics and as adjunct professor, 1985-1986, at the School of Technical Industrial Engineering at the Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid.

From 2001 to 2011, he served as assistant professor of systematic theology of marriage and family at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. Father Vives was a visiting professor of systematic theology at the Mater Dei Seminary in Castellón, Spain, in 2003. He served as a professor of systematic theology of marriage and the family at St. Damaso School of Theology in Madrid, 2006-08, at the Spanish session of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Murcia, Spain, 2006-11; at the Spanish session of the institute in Madrid, 2003-11; and at the Spanish session at the Catholic University of St. Vicente Martyr in Valencia, Spain, 2001-11. Since 2012, he has been an assistant professor at St. Juan Diego Center in Denver.

Father Matthew H. Zuberbueler, newly appointed pastor of St. Louis Church in Alexandria, was born March 14, 1970, in Del Rio, Texas, to parents John and Betty. He attended Comstock High School in Comstock, Texas, and graduated in 1992 from Christendom College in Front Royal with a bachelor's degree in philosophy.

He attended Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. After spending his transitional diaconate year serving at Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, he was ordained to the priesthood by Arlington Bishop John R. Keating at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington May 18, 1996. Since then, he has served as parochial vicar of St. Timothy Church in Chantilly, 1996-99; Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria, 1999-2002; the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 2002-06; and Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester and its mission, St. Bridget of Ireland in Berryville, 2006-08.

In 2003, Father Zuberbueler was appointed defender of the bond for a five-year term. He then served as chaplain and assistant principal at Pope John Paul the Great High School in Dumfries from 2008 to 2012, when he was appointed parochial administrator of St. Louis.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013