We rejoice and reflect on his life and commitment to the Church, his faith, the Belen community and his persistence in helping the most vulnerable in our society.
Father Perez-Lerena was born in Havana, Cuba on December 27, 1924. He studied at the Colegio de Belén and graduated in 1944. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1947 and was ordained on July 26, 1958. Scholar, Educator, and a provincial of the Antilles Province (1974-79), president of the Conferencia Dominicana de Religiosos (1974-79), Belen Jesuit rector/president and the superior of the Jesuits in Miami (1980-83). Founder of Regis House, a drug rehab center in Little Havana in which he served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1984 until his retirement earlier on September 2016. He lived at the Villa Javier Residence on the Belen campus and often visited the Belen Jesuit staff in the Administration building.
Father Pérez-Lerena touched the lives of many by providing a place where the most vulnerable in our society found hope. Regis House will continue to support the message that he left for us and the work that needs to be done in our community. He brought parishoners, former Belen students and other volunteers together to help care for our community’s children. Together they began the process of raising money, awareness and move volunteers to grow Regis House, a drug prevention and treatment center.
Fr. Lerena was an incredibly generous man, a man of purpose and vision, a leader who led by example, and taught us how to be better and do better. We are all better because of his time on earth!
Jesuit Father Pérez-Lerena passed away on a Tuesday evening, on July 25th, 2017.