REV. ALEX JAVIER VARGAS
Son of Maria Anselma Sosa and the late Adrian Vargas, Father Vargas was born in 1971 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Central America. His mother was a single parent by the time of his birth, and raised him, his two sisters, and three brothers at great personal sacrifice, the highest religious virtue. Her love and example had a profound effect on Father Vargas and planted the seeds of a vocation to the priesthood that would flourish many years later and in a foreign land. Father Vargas excelled as an artist and in his academic life. He matriculated to the Colegio Central Vicente Caceres where he earned a Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Father Vargas worked as an accountant for UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, the leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child. UNICEF partnered with the Catholic Church of Honduras and sponsored Father Vargas to go into the remote mountain settlements and lead Para La Vida, a program of outreach on the village level using dramatization and visual aids to instruct illiterate Mayan peoples in hygiene, the importance of education in the lives of their children and the scientific use of their resources—livestock, crops and orchards—in order to have healthier families.
The Contra War in Nicaragua spread into Honduras and Guatemala bringing violence, creating refugees, and destroying the economies. The guerillas made it impossible to continue his programs; therefore, Father Vargas made the difficult decision to migrate to the United States for the sake of his family, which depended on him for survival. Surviving a journey fraught with peril about which he is loath to speak, Father Vargas made his way to Palm Beach County and found work first at a large commercial tomato farm and later in various restaurants. He began his ministry at St. Luke Catholic Church, where he founded Amigos de Cristo, an apostolate dedicated to the spiritual formation and mutual support of young people from Central America living and working in the United States to support their families back home. This led to Father Vargas’ application to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Palm Beach. He attended St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami were he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and then to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary where he received his M.Div and was ordained a priest on August 10, 2001 for the Diocese of Palm Beach by the Most Reverend Mauro Muldoon, Bishop of Juticalpa-Olancho, Honduras. Father Vargas has served as Parochial Vicar at St. Rita-Wellington, Holy Name of Jesus-WPB, Our Lady of Lourdes-Boca Raton and currently St. Thomas More- Boynton Beach.
Now a naturalized citizen of the United States, Father Vargas always kept faith with his family and his people, working for their social, physical and intellectual development with his dear friend and mentor, the Most Reverend Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez-Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Father Vargas founded the Cipotes Honduras Mission and the Honduras Medical Mission, which through the benevolence and mercy of our St. Thomas More Parishioners has brought life-changing medical care to thousands of women, children and families in the most remote mountain villages of Honduras.