[St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Guadalajara Mexico] On Monday 2 September 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico, Padre Asa Van Wormer Butterfield, El Camino Real’s pioneer Hispanic Missioner (1982-1988) died, where as a retired priest, he assisted in preparing candidates for ordination in the Anglican Church of Mexico. “Padre Macario,” as he was know by his pseudonym, had written numerous Spanish articles and four books which were dedicated to Mexico’s San Andres Seminary in Mexico City, D.F. on themes of pastoral care, evangelism, prayers and socio-political changes in Latin America which impact the contemporary church. Padre Asa was rector of the bilingual parish in the Diocese of Panama, sent by the Overseas Missionary Department when he was called to El Camino Real in 1982 to initiate Spanish speaking ministries. Within three years missions were established in Saint Paul’s Salinas, Saint Matthias, Seaside, Saint James, Monterey and Saint Mary’s, Pacific Grove, where a formidable ecumenical refugee center was operated for six years to serve the significant numbers of exiled Salvadoran refugees who began to populate the peninsula in 1983. The Episcopal Church soon became the choice of hundreds of Central Americans because of our warm welcome. After 1988 “Padre Macario” as he became known, served Hispanics in the Diocese of Los Angeles, California, Oklahoma, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Padre Butterfield’s academic studies involved both Latin American and California. After his military service in the Korean War when he served as an infantry Lieutenant, he studied on government scholarships at the University of the Americas in Mexico, D. F. , at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, and the University of California (Medical Center) in San Francisco, leading to a duo-vocational career which resulted in ordination at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco as an Episcopal priest in 1966 and psychotherapist, licensed by the State (of California) in 1970.
His passion for ethnic ministries led him to serve as an urban (sic) with the founding of a nonprofit corporation called Community of Concern out of Good Samaritan and Saint John’s Evangelist in San Francisco’s Mission District, soon after he founded a second nonprofit for counseling which involved a dozen other practitioners. Never being quite content with the clinical professional model, Father Butterfield chose to call his work “Metapsychology,” in which he insisted that the healing of persons involved the spiritual dimension, a term not customarily amenable to the psychological professional.
During his final years of service as a retired priest/practitioner in the Anglican Church of Mexico he discovered a new profession of writing under his chosen pseudonym “Padre Macario” where he produced numerous articles and four books which were dedicated to the Seminary Library of San Andres in Mexico, D.F. A variety of themes were addressed including pastoral care, evangelism, prayer/mediation techniques as well as socio-political changes that have impacted the Latin American Church.
Father Butterfield leaves a widow, Martha Avila Nuño in Guadalajara, along with numerous step children and grand children. His four biological children from his marriage in Mexico in 1954 to Martha Lozier, now deceased, live in Northern California: Penelope, Daniel, and Sarah Butterfield and François Loziere of Ketchikan, Alaska