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About Our Priest

Father Fred

Father Fred Smuda, OSFS

Father Fred arrived at Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. He was officially installed as our new pastor on August 27, 2013. Father Fred served as a teacher and a missionary priest for more than 25 years in Brazil, and for the past 12 years in India. We thank God the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales that we have a priest who is willing to serve our parish, and we are truly blessed as a parish to have such a wonderful order of priest serving our church community on the island. Be sure to say hello to Father Fred when you join us in fellowship during for your vacation.

Reverend Alfred J. Smuda, OSFS

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, Buxton, NC

Pope Francis initiated a Year of Consecrated Life; what is your understanding of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience?
Without poverty, there is no chastity and without obedience, you are lost.

Of the three vows, which do you see most connecting you to the people you serve?
I try not to separate them - you cannot have one without the other. The people want to see a simple lifestyle and a person who loves God and communicates that love.

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.

How does your commitment to a religious community impact your life?
I feel that "I belong."

What is your greatest hope for religious life in the church?
"To light the fire."

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... and allowing God to act through him.

The Oblates of St Francis de Sales

The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales trace their roots to the dream of St. Francis. It was a dream born of the conviction - that all people, of every social stratum, of every position, of every job, talent, or condition, we're called to holiness. He did it by preaching, teaching, and writing, which reflects the love of God, and the characteristics of gentleness and equanimity. He died before our Order was founded, so the Visitation Nuns kept the dream alive until their chaplain. Father Brisson founded our Order in 1873.

The Oblates came to the United States in 1893. Our first high school, founded in 1906, was Salesianum in Wilmington, Delaware. This was followed by North Catholic and Father Judge in Philadelphia, Bishop Ireton in Alexandria, Virginia, Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia, and Bishop Verot in Fort Myers, Florida. In 1962, the Oblates founded DeSales University near Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Oblate Order serves in 15 countries:  USA, Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, India, Germany, France, Italy, Benin, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, Haiti, Uruguay, and the Principality of Monaco. The Oblates now staffs eight parishes throughout the Raleigh Diocese.