by Moira Cullings
OVERLAND PARK — According to these attending the evening of Eucharistic reflection on October 24, this was an uncommon setting for a Catholic occasion.
“The location of the event caught my eye because events are usually held in the community,” mentioned Brenda Aguilar, parishioner at St. Paul Parish in Olathe, “and this one was in a coffee shop that I thought was different and fun.” would .”
The Hispanic community within the Johnson County space gathered for the night on the Brew Haha Coffeehouse in Overland Park.
It was the primary occasion of this sort within the archdiocese.
The night was hosted by the Office of Evangelization as a part of the Archdiocese’s three-year initiative, Revival: Eucharistic Amazement, to assist folks perceive the Real Presence.
Karla Melgar, Counselor on Evangelism, mentioned the distinctive location was a deliberate alternative.
“I feel education is so important now to reach those who are not in the Church,” she mentioned. “Going out – meaning they’re in cafes. Numerous younger adults like that. Adults, we have all the time cherished this.
“We can set the tone for us to start building community again, building friendship and building trust. And that will be a way to move [people so] they come back to the church.”
Connect throughout cultures
Many Hispanic Catholics haven’t returned to church because the starting of COVID-19, Melgar mentioned, and for quite a lot of causes.
“Many people don’t understand that Jesus is present in the Eucharist,” she mentioned. “So we wanted to help our Catholic people here in the archdiocese to embrace each other again [fall] in love with the sacrament.”
The reflection night offered the impetus for this dialog.
To kick issues off, Melgar launched her Evangelism Office group members, Director Deaconess Dana Nearmyer and Senior Counselor Emily Lopez.
Since becoming a member of the group this summer season, Melgar has labored to present extra alternatives for Spanish-speaking Catholics by way of the evangelism workplace.
“I found it really important for the Hispanic community to know that we work as a team,” Melgar mentioned, “and it’s a collaboration between two communities.”
Melgar hoped her evangelism group would “testify to the beauty of the Hispanic community and the desire they have for their faith to be a community and to learn [about] and love their faith.”
For the rest of the night, Melgar led a mirrored image on Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, adopted by small group discussions.
The success of the occasion, Melgar mentioned, proves that conversations about religion can occur anyplace.
“We have to get out of the churches”
Aguilar, who works with RCIA’s ministry to the St. Paul Hispanic community, mentioned the evening of reflection was a optimistic expertise.
“I saw many familiar faces from my parish and from other parishes in the archdiocese,” she mentioned. “And I bought to share some experiences with them.
“It’s always nice to share your faith with other people, even if they’re strangers.”
Derek and Fabiola McCallum, parishioners of Holy Cross Parish in Overland Park, couldn’t flip down the chance.
“I decided to take part because I was invited twice by my friends,” Fabiola mentioned, “and I said to myself, if I was invited twice, it can’t be a coincidence — it’s a commitment.”
Derek mentioned the occasion is vital as a result of many within the Hispanic community have stopped attending the Mass.
“The Eucharistic Revival aims to reverse this trend,” he mentioned, “and the aim of the assembly was to urge us to take concrete motion in our parishes to encourage all our brothers and sisters to return to the Church. “
Fabiola mentioned the night was important for Hispanic Catholics.
“I think the opportunities like Monday’s are very important for us to grow as a community, share ideas, meet each other and create goals for what we need to do to strengthen our faith,” she mentioned.
Miguel Hernandez, a parishioner at Good Shepherd Parish in Shawnee, has been a catechist for greater than 30 years.
“It has been a shock to hear the number of Catholics who don’t believe that Jesus is present, fully present in body and blood – that our faith is too small,” he mentioned.
Hernandez noticed the occasion as a method for the archdiocese to tackle this difficulty amongst Spanish audio system.
“The community must feel that it is important to the archdiocese,” he mentioned, “and that is why the reflection on formation can be done in Spanish.”
Melgar hopes the evangelism workplace will proceed to supply alternatives that appeal to bigger audiences — it doesn’t matter what the setting.
“If we are saying [people are] not in our church buildings,” she mentioned, “we have to go to them. We must leave the churches.”
The subsequent evening of Eucharistic reflection is scheduled for December 1 at 7 p.m. at ReachKCK, 2215 Parallel Ave., Kansas City, Kansas
A Eucharistic Formation workshop together with the Archdiocese Hispanic Ministry shall be held November 15-18 at St. Piux X Parish, 5500 Woodson Rd., Mission, 7-9 p.m. The workshop shall be led by Father Ramiro Chan, CS.
To discover out extra about each occasions, e-mail Karla Melgar at: [email protected]