Pastoral visits to parishes at the service of Latino/ Hispanic communities

Sister Sonia Avi, IHM, visited St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Swedesboro on Sunday, Feb 21, as part of a Pastoral Visits plan to take place between February and early spring of 2011.

Participation at the 1 p.m. Sunday liturgy was uplifting in many ways. One obvious quality of the worshipping community is the youth-filled vitality in all those present. Young family members take part throughout the liturgy celebration in a way that expressed a profound sense of belonging and ownership. Parents playing intruments and singing together with their children was a beautiful thing to watch.

“Our numbers have increased tremendously once Father Rene came to us,” noted Juanita Melendez, a Eucharistic Minister for the community.

A meeting with leaders after Mass was an affirmation of what was witnessed throughout the celebration: the Latino laity is very much active and committed to service at St. Clare of Assisi Parish.

“We are glad to be helping our parish in any way we can,” said Mary Carmen Padilla, coordinator of Special Events for the Latino Community as of April 2009.

Both leaders and Father Rene Canales happily shared about all their activities and plans for ministry with Sister Sonia during their meeting.

A final blessing from Father Rene Canales was a welcome gesture received by all.

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