The Reverend Alfred "Fred" Smuda, OSFS
Before coming to Buxton, Fr. Fred had worked as a teacher for six years at Fr. Judge High School in Philadelphia, then as a missionary for 25 years in Brazil and 12 years in India. He came to our Lady of the Seas Catholic Parish on Feb. 26, 2013 and was installed as pastor on Aug 27 that same year.
Fr. Fred joins other Oblates, who now staff several parishes throughout the Diocese of Raleigh. When he is not celebrating Mass, giving spiritual direction, administering the sacraments, visiting the home bound, or serving as a Hospice volunteer, he can often be seen riding his bike around Buxton and doing yard work on the church grounds.
Birthday: March 30, 1938
First Profession: September 14, 1957
Final Profession: September 18, 1960
Ordination: October 1, 1966
Present Ministry: Pastor, Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Parish, Buxton, NC
Fr. Fred on his vocation as a priest:
A few years ago Pope Francis initiated a Year of Consecrated Life. What is your understanding of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience?
Without poverty, which should be living a simple lifestyle, there is no vow of celibacy, which is focusing on one love, the love of God, and without obedience to church and community, I would be completely lost. Living and working in the world as a consecrated person, I need to stay focused on my vocation. The vows help me Live Jesus, which the Oblates have as their motto.
Of the three vows, which do you see most connecting you to the people you serve?
I try not to separate the three vows. You cannot have one without the others, especially if you are a religious. The people want to see a simple lifestyle and a person, who loves God and communicates that love. Pray for priests!
What gift do you see the Oblates, as religious men, bringing to the church and the world?
Each of us is different - human and in love with God. Regardless of our ministry, we must Live Jesus. As one of our men recently put it: we are Sons of Francis de Sales and Brothers of Fr. Brisson, our founder. We meet people where they are and walk with them every step of the journey.
How does your commitment to a religious community impact your life?
It makes me feel that "I belong." It gives me identity or maybe my spiritual DNA.
What is your greatest hope for religious life in The Church?
To light the fire of our faith that we received at our Baptism and help people believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
What has been a surprise for you as you have lived as a religious?
The way God's spirit acts through me. He surprises me - always - even when I'm not faithful.
What excites you most about Pope Francis?
His humanness, honesty... his love for God... allowing God to act through him.