Reverend Juan Carlos Ruiz, Pastor of Good Shepherd
Juan Carlos first came to the United States in the 1980s to reunite himself with his family and joined the river of undocumented people, a river that still flows today. He was subsequently ordained a Catholic Priest and after falling out of grace with that institution, Juan Carlos crossed the bridge from New Jersey and joined the social and environmental justice movements in the city. After organizing on the streets and cleaning the Bronx River, he had the honor, in 2006, to begin organizing the second wave of sanctuary activism that came to be known as the New Sanctuary Movement. As a co-founder, Juan Carlos has participated in the Occupy movement and was instrumental in what is known as Occupy Sandy, a civil response to Superstorm Sandy. He also organized the space of St. Jacobi's Lutheran Church in Sunset Park and integrated the resources of other churches to help those in need.
If there is one role that describes Juan Carlos, is that of a searcher. He plunges deeply into the waters of God's mystery as he translates the Gospel and its prophetic call to be a haven for the society that he seeks to serve. It is in the light of this call that Juan Carlos was chosen to be the sixth pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.