Best Practices and Pastoral Problems

St. Francis of Assisi Spanish Ministry

Brant Beach, NJ

Best practices:

  • our transportation for our folks to Masses
  • our willingness to take advantage of the desire to have children baptized even if the parents and/or godparents are not married in the church
  • people come from great distances to have their children baptized here, sometimes because they have been here for family baptisms and like the way we do it.
  • willingness to collaborate with the neighboring diocesan parish to offer liturgies in Spanish.

Pastoral problems:

  • lack of participation in reception of the Eucharist.
  • lack of interest in church marriages (or marriage at all)
  • work demands on the people so that participation in liturgy is sporadic for many
  • lack of native speaking priests for the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation
  • lack of regional collaboration with other friar parishes

St. Anthony’s, Camden NJ

Best Practices – Community involvement.

St. Anthony’s makes great efforts to be a part of the community by involvement in activities involving crime prevention and awareness, community improvement initiatives (ugliest house, community garden, etc) and partnering with religious groups of various faiths in community activities. There is strength in numbers. Other best practices are ESL, our Community Garden, and our involvement in Camden Churches Organized for People.

Pastoral Problems/Concerns

Communication between masses. Aside from Parish council, there is not enough interaction between the parishioners across the different masses.

New initiatives

It would be nice to have a means by which Best Practices, issues and their resolution could be published and shared amongst Holy Name Province affiliates periodically. This would be very helpful to the various ministries in each parish who face similar concerns.

A regional resource database for humanitarian and charitable organizations would be of great benefit. Many of us (I’m sure) have had to develop a network of resources, so it would be nice to have someplace to start.

Immaculate Conception Church (IC)

Durham, North Carolina

In 1998 after a parish wide period of discernment the Latino congregation of a small neighboring largely African American parish was invited to join IC.  The growing Latino community had out grown the small church.   A bilingual parish mass was added.  Very soon the parish added two Spanish masses on Sunday afternoon.  Today the Latino community which is largely but not exclusively Mexican accounts to almost half the IC community. IC is the only Catholic Church with Spanish Masses in Durham County, North Carolina.

Celebrations and events that have found to work well:

  • Regional celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a novena, procession, mananitas and Eucharist
  • Cultural celebration like Mexican Independence and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead0
  • Multicultural Stations of the Cross
  • Bilingual Catechism of the Good Sheppard
  • Active youth groups including the RESPETO program
  • Multicultural Environmental programs
  • Uniting with area faith based groups to advocate for immigrants’ rights
  • Teaming up with area agencies to coordinate social services for Latinos
  • Lay & friar pastoral care for Latinos at Duke University Hospital and Durham County Jail
  • Forming teams of support groups for parents , infants and their siblings offering educational, parental skill building and responding to their social and economic needs

Challenges

  • The transitory nature of our immigrant parishioners
  • Finding space and enough trained catechists for our 805 children in faith formation
  • Threat that gang activity imposes our young people and their parents
  • Creating more bilingual Adult faith formation (i.e., Just Faith and Engaging Spirituality)
  • Creating more celebratory moments to celebrate our diversity together with Spanish and non Spanish speaking parishioners.
  • Economic hardship for immigrants
  • Lack of drivers licenses for the undocumented and  college opportunities for their children
  • Struggling to meet the growing and multifaceted needs of immigrants
  • Lack of Bilingual church workers

While there are challenges to be met, our parish community believes that the Latino presence is a blessing as the presence of all our parishes is for IC.

St. Camillus Church and Mission Langley Park, Silver Spring MD 20903

Best practices:

  • Offering basic kerygmatic “Evangelization” Retreats followed by the formation of ongoing, small faith-sharing communities (post-retreat) has been very successful.  The retreat, which is very charismatic in nature, responds to affective faith needs. It centers on the foundational proclamation of the gospel:  turn away from sin, embrace the Gospel, know Christ and live in the Spirit.  The small communities provide ongoing formation, support, community and outreach.  An annual “mission” provides visits to apartments and homes of non-active neighbors to invite them to the next Evangelization Retreat.  This program is well-known in Central American countries (at least) under such names as “Parroquia Evangelizadora: Sistema Integral de la Nueva Evangelization.
  • Create a welcoming environment in the Parish so that all cultures feel respected and welcomed.  St. Camillus proclaimed itself a “multicultural parish” many years ago, and the results of striving to live up to our “branding” have been impressive.
  • Celebrate, appropriately, various expressions of “popular religiosity” (such as Posadas, Quinceañeras, Devotions, Guadalupe, etc.) in order to provide a sense of “home” for, and a climate of respect for, the traditions of each culture.
  • Give the various language groups access to parish space, schedule, funds and power (via Parish Council and, perhaps, language group “directives”).  In other words, strive to empower and integrate fully each language group into the life of the parish.

Pastoral problems:

  • How to respond to strong vocational interest of our young men do not have necessary immigration documents?
  • How to respond more effectively with youth who are born and raised in the U.S. and whose parents have come from other countries (identity issues, motivational issues)?
  • How can we as a Province increase interest in, outreach to, and ministry with  Hispanic populations?

Encuentro Francisco

Church of St. Paul

Wilmington DE 19805

Best practices:

  • enthusiastic and lively liturgies and liturgical music
  • our cultural diversity
  • a diversity of ministries are offered in the parish including homebound ministry, prison ministry, bereavement ministry, pastoral visits to the families of the recently baptized
  • special celebration of Marian feasts (Guadalupe, Divine Providence, Altagracia), home rosaries in October and May
  • dedicated outreach program that includes a Food Pantry and a Counseling Center
  • active Justice & Peace Ministry that includes peace rallies and marches and participation with other local churches
  • numerous parish groups and movements including Cursillo, Movimiento Carismatico, and Movimiento de Juan XXIII
  • newly formed Knights of Columbus Council
  • active Young Adult Group

Pastoral problems:

  • Inviting other parishioners to participate in parish leadership, parish groups, and liturgical ministries other than the usual people.  Oftentimes it is the same small group of parishioners that do everything.
  • How to better integrate the Latino, African-American and Anglo communities
  • Need for greater evangelization efforts and ministry to lapsed Catholics

A)    NEW INITIATIVES

  • Regular gatherings such as the Encuentro where people from the various ministries of HNP can come together.
  • More materials from HNP provided in Spanish (both via mailings to ministries and via the website)
  • Looking at the future needs of the Church, a continued and enhanced formation of friars for Hispanic Ministry and Ministry in Spanish

Best practices:

  • Spanish prayer group
    • Our group is a very small group.  It really tries to respond to the interests and needs of the people who attend.
    • It focuses on liturgy of the hours and lectio divina
    • Interest has been expressed for more devotional prayer as well.
    • Mass
      • Once a week
        • complement, not compete with the Spanish ministry of local parishes
        • not see a need for Sunday Mass in Spanish, given the availability throughout the diocese
        • Attended by more than just Spanish-speakers
          • One Deaf woman
          • some English-only speakers.
          • Attempts are made to bring speakers of other languages into the Mass
            • simultaneous signing
            • summarizing in English the Gospel and the homily

Pastoral problems:

  • Small group with some inconsistent participation by members
  • Desire to bring new people into the group
  • Hesitancy of members to lead prayer
  • Some concerns about immigration issues (but not overwhelming)
    • new initiatives needs
    • Nothing necessarily at the provincial level
    • Local initiatives
      • Develop publicity for what we offer
      • Consider how to develop engagement of the participants in other aspects of the Shrine ministry

96th St.

New York, New York

A study commissioned by the Bishops’ Committee on Hispanic Affairs in the spring of 1998 collected information obtained from interviews with some bishops, clergy and religious, diocesan staff members, and lay leaders from eight dioceses in different parts of the country. That study identified the following as the key issues and challenges of Catholic Hispanics in the U.S: 1) Leadership development and formation: Vocational crisis among Hispanics is due in part to a lack of education, a lack of the English-language skills required by most seminaries, or a lack of legal documentation that allows candidates to join diocesan seminaries and/or religious communities. Without more vocations to the priesthood and religious life, it will be impossible for the U.S Church to properly serve Hispanics. At the level of the laity, shortage of leadership is also due to serious deficits in formation and training. 2) Incorporation versus assimilation: tension between assimilating Hispanics into mainstream Catholicism and culture in the United States as fast as possible, and a true incorporation that requires that Hispanics be welcomed first on their own terms. 3) The tension between multiplicity and unity in the parish. 4) Increasing Hispanic diversity. 5) Intergenerational conflicts. 6) The tension between popular religiosity and evangelization. 7) The tension between a pastoral focus on the sacraments and one stressing social justice. 8) The existence of a restricted view of stewardship: Hispanics do not feel included in the process of decision-making. 9) Ministering effectively to Hispanic youth. 10) The loss of Hispanics to other faiths. 11) Welcoming Hispanics within an increasingly culturally diverse Church.[1]


[1] USCCB Secretariat For Hispanic Affairs. http://www.usccb.org/hispanicaffairs/studygomez.shtml. (accessed on March 16, 2007)

…Despite all the challenges of Catholic Hispanics in the U.S, the truth is that the lost of Hispanics to other faiths does not necessary begin here in the United States. As it happens in other parts of the world, in Latino America the Evangelical and Pentecostals churches have been gathering big numbers of followers for several years now. In Colombia for example, it is estimated that about five million people, 10% of the country’s population, belong to an Evangelical or Pentecostal church. The majority of these churches are located in poor neighborhoods. With popular slogans such as “Come, become rich and have health” they especially attract those who are unemployed and have no social security.

…According to Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, Hispanics in the U.S.A belong to over 60 religious groupings. The number of adult Hispanic Catholics went up to 13 million in 2001 from 9.6 million in the earlier survey. Nevertheless, while Catholicism still claims the most members in absolute numbers, there is a real decrease in the proportion of Latinos who are Catholic. 66 percent of adult Hispanics self-reported as Catholics in the early study while in 2001 that number dropped to 57 percent.  Stevens-Arroyo indicates that the second generation born in the United States tends to convert to Protestantism because it is perceived as the ‘American’ religion. 70 percent of Protestants and 60 percent of those who say they now have no religion say they used to be Catholic. “This means that about an equal number of former Catholics choose “no religion” as those choosing Protestantism. Compared to the general population of Americans who are not affiliated with a particular religion, Hispanics are more likely to believe in God.”


[1] Anthony Stevens-Arroyo is professor of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York. He is co-founder and first president of the Program for the Analysis of Religion Among Latinos/as (PARAL), a network of scholars who conduct social science research on the religious experiences of Latinos.

[2] Tracy Schier, “Anthony Stevens-Arroyo on Hispanic Christians in the U.S.” Resources for American Christianity. http://www.resourcingchristianity.org (accessed on March 28, 2007)

… Long before the Protestant churches started having a significant presence in Latin America and among Hispanics in the U.S; Catholics already experienced serious doubts about their faith and the way they practiced it. Those ongoing insecurities and many unresolved questions about the Church keep people professing a faith that they don’t understand or want to live out. I good example of this kind of faith is the way some people experience Holy Week in our days. Many people, including many Hispanics, who called themselves Catholic, use Holy Week for vacationing and recreation instead of praying and conversion. People have a great sense of the Transcendental, but for some of them the Church, as an institution, is becoming a meaningless institution. This is in addition to the fact that for many people, including some Hispanics who once in the U.S . fall in love with the materialistic and individualistic trend of the predominant culture, whatever is symbolic is loosing relevancy.

…An article published by The New York Times last April 15, 2007 suggests that “along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization.” The Newspaper reports that “Hispanics from Cuba were the most secular national group, at 14 percent, followed by Central Americans at 12 percent, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans at 9 percent, and South Americans at 8 percent, the Pew poll found. Mexicans in this country were the least likely to say they had no religion, at 7 percent.” In interview Sociologist Keo Cavalcanti explained the phenomenon in this way: “Migrating to the U.S . means you have the freedom to create your own identity… When people get here they realize that maintaining that pro forma display of religiosity is not essential to doing well.”  …According to the Newspaper, this change is happening even though many Hispanics emigrated from countries steeped in religion, where saints’ days and festivals mark the passage of time, and grandmothers round up their progeny each Sunday to go to Mass…their faith is important, but perhaps they have grown too materialistic. Though they no longer attended church their religion remained important to them. “You can feel very strongly about the Virgin of Guadalupe and believe your children ought to be baptized, and still not participate in the Catholic Church or make it a major factor in your life,” said Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center .[1]


[1] Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, “For Some Hispanics, Coming to America Also Means Abandoning Religion,” The New York Times Company, April 15, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/us/15hispanic.html?ex=1177387200&en=fd4b96bb91aab178&ei=5070&emc=eta1 (accessed on April 16, 2007).

…Nevertheless, we cannot afford to be negative or pessimistic about the future of the Church. It is important to recognize the commitment of some U.S Bishops, priests and lay Catholic leaders, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, all over the country to serve the Hispanic population in the U.S .A . The Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs of the USCCB recently issued a document titled Study on Best Practices for Diocesan Ministry among Hispanics/Latinos.[1] It is the result of a long year team work of all the dioceses with Hispanic Ministry in the U.S.A. The following are some of the findings of that study.


[1] USCCB. Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs “Study on Best Practices for Diocesan Ministry Among Hispanics/Latino” http://www.usccb.org/hispanicaffairs/BestPractices2.pdf (accessed on March 25, 2007).

…The study identified the following practices as decisive in making an arch/diocese a best-practice arch/diocese in diocesan Hispanic ministry: “1) an understanding that Hispanics are the responsibility of the entire Church and not just of some parishes and willing priests, 2) a ministry that is culturally specific consistent, 3) an ongoing pastoral planning process, 4) a well-established Office for Hispanic Ministry with competent director and/or staff, and direct access to the local ordinary who is bilingual to some degree, 5) a sustained growth initiative that recognizes developmental stages for Hispanic ministry, 6) a vibrant and well-established leadership development and formation process which includes programs, workshops, and activities in various ministerial areas, 7) shared leadership, where Hispanics and other bilingual staff are members of the cabinet and other decision-making bodies. 8) a spirit of collaboration and common mission between the OHM and other offices and Catholic organizations and institutions, 9) a well-informed leadership that is aware of the limitations in resources and knows that the arch/diocese is committed to the Hispanic presence, and 10) an evaluation process is in place to measure accomplishment of goals included in the pastoral plan and/or specific programs and activities.”[1]

…It is my belief that dioceses with increasing Hispanic population are trying to respond to the needs of the Spanish speaking people by establishing specialized ministries and offices and by offering Masses in Spanish in several parishes. Unfortunately those efforts at the diocesan level not always translate well at the parish level. My short experience of eight years servicing Hispanics along the U.S. East Coast where Holy Name Province is present shows me that some parishes are unprepared, and often unwilling, to minister to the Hispanics, who very soon will become the majority of the U.S. Catholic Church. While celebration of the Eucharist in Spanish is good, ministering to the Hispanic population is more complex. Christian formation, sacramental preparation, effective social out reach, evangelization and lay leadership development among Hispanic people are also necessary.


[1] Ibid.

…The role of Hispanic women in the Church must be appreciated and highlighted in a better way. Though women do most of the work in the Church, they are relegated to second places by the clergy and other men in leadership positions. This is in addition to the discrimination women might suffer in their work places and at home by their own fathers, brothers and husbands. Their ministry is not always well appreciated and they are often excluded from the decision making process. Still, they don’t give up in their service. Their situation as ministers in the Church is for me a mirror image of the situation of women in the macho society I grew up in, at least at the time when I was in school in Colombia , because, thank God, women nowadays are much more respected and recognized as equal by men.

…Popular religious expressions of some Latino people also deserve especial attention. Hispanic Catholicism has its roots in the culture of the peoples. Religion and daily life are tightly connected; popular devotions are an integral part of a lived faith.

Paterson, New Jersey

A Report from Saint Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, New Jersey – September 1, 2009

By Christopher C. VanHaight, O.F.M.

Best Practices

When we began this ministry six months ago, we knew that we wanted to stress the fact that the parishioners at the Spanish Mass were members of the one and the same St. Bonaventure’s Church.  We were all one parish, and the Mass in Spanish was another Mass of the parish, like any other.  We would do second collections like at the other Masses, we would highlight the same programs and events that were announced at the other Masses (parish picnic, mission appeals, etc.), and we would offer the same sacraments and services as with the Anglo community, including a weekly prayer meeting, confessions, baptisms, etc., all in Spanish.  We even have a bulletin in Spanish that is a mirror image of the one in English.  Our goal, which we are on our way to achieving, is to stress that every person who walks through the doors of our Church, Anglo or Latino, has the same rights and responsibilities as any other.

Of course, there are some things unique to the Spanish Mass.  For one thing, we celebrate the patronal feasts of every country represented.  We have already made it a point to honor Nuestra Señora de Altagracia (Dominican Republic), Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles (Costa Rica), and Rose of Lima.  The music is different as well, with our volunteer choir enervating every Mass in Spanish.

There are also some elements that appeal to the more traditional nature of Latino Catholic culture.  We did a procession around the church for Corpus Christi after the Spanish Mass and usually have the recitation of the rosary before each Mass.  Our Good Friday Stations of the Cross in Spanish were also well-received.

Pastoral Problems

An ongoing pastoral issue is the fact that we are rather “late to the game” in offering a Mass in Spanish.  The neighborhood has been mostly Latino for a generation, and many people have become accustomed to worshipping elsewhere.  Building up our community will take some time.

While the vast majority of our Anglo parishioners have been incredibly supportive, including the Pastoral Council, there are some elements in the parish that would prefer we not offer Mass and programs in Spanish.  For example, this past Holy Week we had a reading in Spanish at all the Masses (with the English version in the missalette, of course).  It was reported that some people were overheard complaining about this.  This highlights one aspect of the problem which is that such people rarely, if ever, directly complain to me or the pastor, but instead are quite passive-aggressive; complaining to other parishioners or speaking on behalf of “others,” when in reality they are the ones with the issue.  Often the conversation heads right toward something like this: “Well, if those people want to come here, they should learn English.” Explaining that people have a natural desire to pray in their mother tongue seems to have little impact.

Another issue is that in reality there is no such thing as Latino ministry.  There is Peruvian ministry, and Dominican ministry, and Puerto Rican ministry, but try and find a country named “Hispanic.”  We are trying to be an open worshipping community, but ironically one of the blocks to our growth is that there is not one dominant group (which is a blessing as well).  While the various Caribbean groups seem to work well together, one gets the sense that the Peruvians would rather go somewhere where everyone is Peruvian (such as the Cathedral).  Of course, if there was a nearby church that was all Puerto Rican, the Puerto Ricans would all go there.  One of the benefits of being a gringo priest is that I am not identified with any one group to the exclusion of others.  Navigating the politics of all this (and in a foreign language) is always a challenge, however.

Finally, it may sound funny but it is true: when the weather is nice our attendance at the Sunday 5:30 p.m. Spanish Mass drops significantly.  It is terrible, but I find myself hoping for a string of rainy Sunday afternoons!

Future Directions for Holy Name Province

A simple but highly symbolic gesture on the province’s part would be to mirror the website in Spanish.  Right now, only a small part of the vocation section is in Spanish, but if a potential Latino vocation went to our website, I bet they would be discouraged by the lack of Spanish resources there.

A more difficult but necessary area to look at is that of vocations and formation.   This starts by asking the question: do we really want Latino vocations?  The obvious answer might seem to be “yes,” but isn’t it more accurate to state that what we really want are Latino vocations who will completely adapt to OUR way of life, OUR language, OUR culture, without demanding any changes from us?  If that is the case, why would a young Latino man want to come to us?  We may get a few Latino vocations under those stipulations, but don’t be surprised if some of them come out of formation saying that they do not want to do Latino ministry!

With the problems of accepting un-documented vocations, the reality is that the province is going to have to do a better job of preparing for Hispanic ministry the Anglo vocations that we have.  More actively encouraging post-profession or post-ordination studies in Spanish is one avenue.  Prodding the Washington Theological Union to do more is another.  Until the province is willing to push this, Hispanic ministry in the province will continue to be an afterthought.

The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi

11401 Leesville Road

Raleigh NC 27613

Encuentro Franciscano 2009

Best Practices:

Every three years, the Pastor and Pastoral Council undertake the Strategic Initiative process. Out of this process the Strategic Initiatives are generated and shared with the staff and parish. These initiatives focus and guide the direction of the parish in terms of setting and acting on goals and priorities for our community.  The Strategic Initiative process is led by the Pastoral Council. As stewards of the Mission Statement they form themselves in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church by reflecting upon Vatican and US Bishops’ writings and other resources, which articulate a vision for the diverse aspects of parish life.

One of the current strategic initiatives set forth by the pastoral council is: Foster and Celebrate the Diversity of our Community.  This initiative states:

St. Francis is not a “one-size fits all” parish. We are a diverse, dynamic and growing group of people who have traveled many different roads to be here. It is our differences on that journey that help form us and our shared faith that binds us. Our diversity as the Body of Christ is varied and vast—encompassing differences of religion, culture, language and race. Our challenge is to ensure that we welcome, understand, foster and celebrate the diversity among us. By doing so, we enrich our faith and each other.  Out of feedback received through the Strategic Initiative process, there arose a strong desire to better understand and foster our diverse population as outlined above. In addition, many parishioners expressed a strong interest to increase our outreach and ministry to the growing Hispanic population in the area.

As this issue was further researched, it was uncovered that we do not currently have an accurate breakdown of the different religious, cultural, language and racial makeup of our registered parishioners. In fact, less than 1% of our parishioners have this data identified in our parish database system. This initial lack of understanding concerning our diverse population hinders us from effectively and actively “reaching out to all persons and their families” in all that we do.

This strategic initiative hopes to address all these issues, and is to include the following:

• Identify the diverse groups within our Parish

• Identify the needs and gifts of these diverse groups

• Develop ways to meet their needs and integrate their gifts within the community

• Increase minority participation in leadership roles at St Francis

• Attract and reach out to minorities with an emphasis on the growing Hispanic population

• Create new outreach programs for immigrants in the area

• Encourage all parishioners to respond to the needs and celebrate the gifts of diverse groups within our parish

We do not claim to have any best practices since we have just begun implementing this initiative. However, by studying some of the documents of the Church and investigating how other parishes have responded to the needs of their Latino community, we have learned some things from their experiences.   Our challenge and focus has been on maintaining a unified parish community while also embracing our diversity.

Since our Latino community is not very large and those who are members of the parish are bilingual, we have concentrated our efforts on the celebration of liturgy, festivals and pastoral care. We intend to implement the issues named in the initiative above.

The Franciscan Coalition provides outreach to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Louisburg, NC. Their best practices include:

  • Creating a food pantry
  • Food drives twice a year to restock food pantry
  • Migrant Ministry drivers for Sunday Mass during the summer.
  • Migrant Ministry dinners three times a year.
  • Recipients of the annual school supply drive
  • Trailer repairs

Pastoral Problems:

Since we are in the early stages of implementing this initiative, our pastoral problems seem to center on getting the mainstream community to understand that we all have to make changes in order to become a more welcoming community to all. The tendency seems to be that we expect the minority or diverse groups to change and accept our traditions. This has been particularly true in our celebration of liturgy and preparing for sacraments.

We would also welcome suggestions on how other parishes have been successful in maintaining unity while celebrating the diversity that exists in their community. What strategies have been helpful in reaching out without creating separate communities who happen to worship in the same sanctuary?

New Initiatives: Our Diversity Initiative not only has desired outcomes that apply to cultural and ethnic populations but also includes outreach to persons with disabilities.  For example, one of those desired outcomes is to provide “signing” to the hearing impaired. A new initiative that the Holy Name Province might consider is outreach to persons with disabilities.

Respectfully submitted by,

Gladys Whitehouse

Coordinator for Family Life

St. Mary of the Angels.

Anderson, SC

Wising that our mother Mary, the Holy Spirit and our Lord are with you. Let us thank you for the opportunity to share our opinion with the purpose of enrichment and evangelized our multicultural community.

We at St. Mary of the Angels are blessed to have two Spanish mass and a parish council that has opened his arms and his heart to our beliefs and traditions, it is in that way we have become a diverse community that expresses and behaves within the universal church that Christ created for us.

Best practices:

  • Bilingual Mass- with the purpose of breaking the barriers of the language and to be a solid community, we celebrate our holly communion in Spanish as well as in English.
  • Spanish and English Classes- Our community has taken the time to help our Spanish speaking community to learn English and vise versa
  • Cleaning: Our community works weekly on the cleaning of our sanctuary and our church property.
  • Economic- Whenever the church needs monetary help, we the community” host a Spanish food sale after every dominical mass to help raise fund.
  • Prayers, Events and Family Fun-
  • For the last three years our church has been doing the presentation of the Way of the Cross live, to help with the conversion of our parish members.
  • Fiesta of Our lady of Guadalupe: celebrated in advent, on December the 11 at 9 pm and 2 am, an encounter of faith directed by the prayers group. This event includes a rosary prayer, adoration, evangelization and a mass, serving a dinner at the end of the fest.
  • Las Posadas: a Mexican tradition celebrated from the 16- 24 of December in which we represent Mary and Joseph going home by home praying and sharing with the people.

Pastoral problems:

The immigration status of some of our parish members does not allow them to become priest, deacon or sisters, therefore we wish there will be a solution for it.

New Initiatives:

  • For the church to encourage the people to consecrate their lives as laics, due to the facts that our priests have already their hands full with all of the other issues and duties of our parish, in order for this we will need an economic incentive.
  • We believe that every church should have a prayers group to help promote faith, to learn prayers, encourage the members of the parish to renew their faith thru Christ with positive attitude, bible studies, moved by the Holy Spirit.
  • We also, need to promote spiritual retreats to awake our parish members in the love of God, to have them accept the Lord in their hearts. We would like for these parish members to have the opportunity to renew their lives and be at the service of our Lord, allowing them to participate in bible studies, apologetics and to be ready as the bible says: 1 Peter 3,15 “but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear”.
  • We suggest for every parish to be able to have a bookstore, in which their members have the   opportunity to obtain, books, music and religious items in order to progress in their faith.

Once again thank you so very much for the opportunity that has been given to us thru Christ our Lord.

May God keep his peace in you and the Holy Spirit always surrounds you.

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