Like many other communities through the diocese and the nation, this past Saturday, Latino parishioners gathered to renew their missionary-discipleship of Jesus at St. Anthony's Catholic Parish in the historic northeast of Kansas City, MO.
The day began with musicians Fernando and seminarian Emmanuel Garduño leading the group of about 30 with several songs accompanied by movements and dance. Participants smiled and joined in, and later remarked that the music helped energize them in the morning. The group then was welcomed by Miguel Salazar, Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry, who explained the day's twofold goal of evangelization and reflection, in union with the national V Encuentro process. Together the participants jojned in prayer, offering their petitions to God along with the national encuentro prayer.
Then the first presentation on Discipleship was shared by parishioner Julio Lara, who encouraged the participants to reflect on their Discipleship with Christ, based on examples of disciples in Scripture. "Are you living your discipleship like Judas, who betrayed Christ and despaired? Or are you living like St. Peter, who betrayed Christ, yes, but then repented?" Many in the room acknowledged that the talk touched them personally and challenged them to walk closer with Christ.
Another leader in the community, Raymundo Sanchez, delivered the second presentation, which was on bearing daily fruits as a missionary. He recalled the scripture story of Zacheeus, who responded to Jesus' mercy by giving to the poor and making restitution for his past sins. He pointed out that we too must let our encounter with Christ produce fruits of generosity and mercy, as when Raymundo shared he once invited a poor family to eat with him at a restaurant, and the owner unexpectedly paid for half the bill. This example from his life experience helped illustrate how when we give generously, God multiples our witness and softens hard hearts.
After each presentation, the participants discussed in small groups and then shared their thoughts as a whole. Discussion especially was orientated toward furthering the parish as a community of missionary-disciples. Notes were taken for later analysis and reflection towards the development of a parish pastoral plan for Hispanic ministry.
Volunteers of the Equipo Parroquial spent many months in preparation for this day, and put lots of hard work into preparing food, organizing child care, writing talks, and inviting parishioners. Cathy Hernandez, as the DRE, was especially instrumental in the days success, particularly in organizing the cuidado de niños. There were many smiles, tears, and new friendships shared at the Encuentro, and parish leaders look forward to continued reflection on their experiences. The joyous day ended in confession and mass, with Fr Andres Moreno at the parish church.
Hoy en Kansas City, estamos celebrando con mucha alegria el segundo dia de la Radio-Maraton del Verano por medio de la 1190AM KDMR Radio de la Divina Misericordia. Si estas en la zona metropolitana, Sintoniza y llamanos al (816)630-1090 para hacer tu contribucion!
Para mi las radio-maratones no son rutinarias aunque he organizado mas de siete durante los dos años pasados. Mas bien, son un tipo de retiro espiritual, es decir, momentos que me renuevan y me motivan para seguir adelante.
Pero el lunes anterior, cuando iba preparandome para la radio-maraton, no me encontre tan emocionado. Honestamente, estaba muy cargado con muchas presiones y sentimientos de duda personal. En ese momento de tristeza, hizo Dios un milagro para mi. Al comenzar la radio-maraton el dia siguiente, estaba escuchando un hermano leer el evangelio durante las primeras horas del programa especial. Y mientras que el estaba dando testimonio de Cristo, me senti en mi interior un fuego renacer. Al terminar la lectura , todas mis preocupaciones las llevo Cristo. Wow! Me acorde de los discipulos en camino a Emaus, cuando "ardia nuestro corazon" al escuchar las palabras de Cristo. imediatamente en vivo di gracias al Señor por haberme encontrado nuevamente.
En ese mismo momento, me di cuenta que este encuentro no era simplemente psicologico ni emocional, sino fundamentalmente espiritual. Como explicarlo? para mi es dificil no usar las analogias. Es como si fuera la mano de Dios que me toco y me llevo mi carga por si mismo. Es como conocer nuevamente a un amigo intimo despues de años de separacion. Es como oir las palabras de mi padre, "te quiero mijo". En este caso, para mi la descripcion no alcance describir. Solamente puede la poesia o el arte en ciertos momentos. Como dice el filosofo-cientifico Blaise Pascal ""El corazón tiene razones que la razón desconoce" - Blaise Pascal
I recently came across a great Hispanic Ministry Resource page on the website of the MACC <Mexican-American Catholic College> in Texas. It has links to dozens and dozens of Catholic documents on Hispanic Ministry in the USA and beyond.
It has topics ranging from Church Documents to Immigration and "Puro Chicano art y cultura". I found myself very thankful that someone had compiled such an extensive directory, as it were, of resources in Hispanic Ministry. I highly recommend taking a moment to enrich your ministry by taking a look!
What other resources have you discovered on your journey?
Por varios meses, Edith y su equipo de jovenes y adultos han estado planeando esta conferencia... y al fin estamos cerca! 9 dias!!!!!
This conference reaches out to all of the Hispanic youth and young adults of the area, inviting folks from Kansas and other Missouri dioceses as well. This is quite an event!
Last weekend, when I was in Emporia, KS to announce this conference and invite the youth to join us, the pastor told me that this sounded familiar. After mass, he remembered that the youth from his parish had gone to this conference last year. Upon returning, they eagerly met with him and said they wanted to start a youth group of their own. They had assembled their own leadership team and regular meeting time and only required his permission to get started. The story actually made it into the Archdiocesan newspaper, "The Leaven"
This is an amazing story, and one that we hope to replicate in our own diocese among our Hispanic neighborhoods. This conference is bound to inspire young people to gather together in community and strive to live out what they experienced in meeting Jesus. May we have many more blessings! PAZ
above photo from "the Leaven" http://www.theleaven.com/past_issues/_pdf/v36/Leaven%2007-18-14.pdf
Today we are putting together the final touches on the 4th annual Immigration Conference! With solid speakers, new elements and a pastoral focus, it promises to be the best one yet!
I picked up the cokes and waters earlier today and am finishing my presentation that I will be delivering and all of this has gotten me to stop and think for a moment and give thanks for the great teamwork that is making this possible. Working with the Office of Human Rights has been a real joy and a learning experience since my arrival here last year, and this event in particular continues that collaboration.
Brooklynn and I sat down several months ago and began to research and design this conference, basing it on the achievements of the past years and looking forward to its development. Out of those conversations came the idea of the addition of a multicultural panel and positioning the conference as a resource to pastoral agents in the field of immigrant ministry. Indeed, both of these elements represent unprecedented steps in our Diocese's ministry.
I intend to write a follow-up post after the Conference too! We are both very excited for the conference tomorrow and hope that all of our guests may walk away feeling empowered and connected in a deeper way with each other, the people they serve, and our Lord Jesus Christ in His holy Church.
You don't have to travel to India or Latin America to be a missionary. Indeed, our own Diocese is in need of missionaries right now to Migrant Farm-Workers!
Every summer, thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children of mostly Mexican descent travel across our nation, and for meager wages in often impoverished conditions, they harvest the crops that you and I eat every day.
In the summer months, many families arrive in northwestern Missouri to pick apples and tomatoes in the western portion of our Diocese. Often they are trapped in this cycle of migration, poverty and abuse, and their needs are great. But most wanting of all is their need for the saving Love of Jesus Christ. Few Catholic services, sacraments, or spiritual formation experiences are regularly available for the Migrant Farm-Worker communities of our Diocese, nearly all of whom are Hispanic Catholics.
The time is now! Join us in the Office of Hispanic Ministry as we form a coordinated outreach to the least of our brothers and sisters! And most of all, PRAY for this effort! PAZ
It's not actually new, I have just been revamping everything and giving it a new feel.. a new tone, if you will. New layout, new graphics, new content, new calendar, and a new BLOG (this one) to make everything simpler and more approachable. It is really the same site with the same purpose: to get you to HEAVEN.
With all the news surrounding Pope Francis' recent appointment to "TIME'S Man of the Year", it's interesting to note what a new tone will do for a public figure...and his public institution.
Papa Francisco has captured the hearts and imaginations of the world, embracing a disfigured man, letting a wandering youngster hang out with him on-stage in the middle of a Mass, washing the feet of marginalized women and youths, living and transporting modestly, and speaking with remarkable off-the-cuff frankness and magnetic joy.
People are paying attention because they see something authentic in another human being, and that touches hearts. This is the genius of Francis, and by reestablishing the Pope and his Church as credible moral figures, he is making Catholicism relevant to the world again.
But realize this...nothing is new! Pope Francis takes after Jesus Christ, who always sends us who we need and at the moment we need them...We must need it really bad right now, because Pope Francis is so good!
Through all of this, throw out any notion that Papa Francisco is or will ever be "loosing up" on any Doctrines or Dogmas. Nothing is changed! Sins are still sins. Wrong is still wrong. The Church is really the same thing with the same purpose...only now, because of one man's living out the Gospel more fully and by the mystery of God's ever growing goodness, somehow Truth is more True.
Director del Ministerio Hispano
Jesus Lover. Pope follower. Latino family.