Meet Our Parish Priests and Staff

Fr. Shay Auerbach, S.J.

Fr. Auerbach has been pastor of Sacred Heart Church since 2008.  He is also president of the board of directors of Sacred Heart Center, a non profit organization whose mission is “to create a hub for the Richmond hispanic/latino community which opens opportunities for economic and social integration, self fulfillment, and community leadership development.”  He has served on the Mayor’s Anti Poverty Commission.  Fr. Auerbach is a member of the Society of Jesus, (the Jesuits) a Roman Catholic religious order known for education, missionary endeavors, and engagement in social justice work.  Prior to his arrival in Richmond in 2007 he worked in Raleigh, North Carolina and Mexico.  Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Fr. Auerbach holds masters degrees in linguistics, philosophy, and theology.

Fr. Don

Fr. Don Ward, S.J.
Senior Priest

Fr. Ward has ministered at Sacred Heart Church since 2017.  Before, Fr. Ward has taught at St. Joseph’s Prep and Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., but his love of new cultures also led him to serve in Santiago, Chile, where he worked at Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ) helping the needy. He then served in Tanzania and the Dominican Republic, among other countries, and in between, served parishes in the North Carolina and other parts of the United States.

Alfredo Arreola

Alfredo Arreola
Business Manager

Office Hours/ Horas de Oficina

Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Phone Number:  (804)729-5490


Carmen O’Brien
Coordinator Music Ministry and RCIA

Born in Lima, Peru, Carmen is a missionary by vocation for fifteen years and consecrated in a tertiary Carmelite community. She has experience in liturgical music since 1987, and graduated from the Catechesis Certification course at the University of Dayton. She is married to James O’Brien, has participated in Sacred Heart Parish since 2007, and as part of the office since 2015, she has played the role of coordinator of RCIA and parish music.

Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday- Friday 10:00 am- 8:00pm
Phone Number:  (804) 729-5497

Yenni León
Coordinator of Religious Education and Baptism

Yenni has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mexico. She joined Sacred Heart in 2020 and coordinates the Rites of Christian Formation at Sacred Heart Parish. She feels very happy to work here, giver her attraction to preaching, the vitality of the ministry, her passion to accompany the parishioners in their Christian formation and sacramental preparation have led her to continue her education by working on her Master of Arts in Theology at Saint Leo University. Her mission is to listen and serve God with love and generosity.

Office Hours
Monday- Friday 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (804)715-5591

Candace Everhart

Candace was born in El Paso, Texas. Her mother is a Mexican native from Chihuahua, Mexico that taught for many years in a community with great needs. Candace’s love, passion, and pride is very deep rooted. Her pride and joys are her husband and two children. She has been involved in many different committees which include but not limited to environment, festivals, faith formation along with different community organizations.

Office Hours
Monday- Friday 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (804) 232-8964


Rev. Mr. Dennis Holley

Rev. Mr. Francisco Ovalle
Rev. Mr. Michael Carlucci

Rev. Mr. Domingo Caratachea