An estimated 60 Hispanic young adults gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden May 2 for the first-ever Pascua Juvenil, an all-day event designed to reach out to Latino Catholics in their 20s and 30s with faith, fellowship, worship and music.
The day’s intention was to “reach out to young adult Latinos in the Diocese of Camden, who are key to the new evangelization,” said Andres Arango, Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry, whose office co-sponsored the event with the diocese’s Office of Young Adult Ministry.
From priests and deacons, young adults were inspired throughout the day. Father Hugh McSherry, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua, provided a warm welcome to participants, while Father Rene Canales, from St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Carneys Point, gave an afternoon talk on young adults’ relationship with God and their community.
Deacon Arnaldo Santos, from All Saints in Millville, spoke in the morning on the importance of young adults in their families and churches, and Deacon Rene Zayas, from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden, gave the final blessing, sending young adults, now on fire in the faith, forth to their own communities to share what they learned.
Two Hispanic music ministries, Ministerio Cantaré (“I Will Sing”) from Holy Cross in Bridgeton, and Las Huellas de Jesús (“The Footsteps of Jesus”) had young adults on their feet in praise and worship.
Greg Coogan, director of Young Adult Ministries, called the day a “dynamic and faith-filled” one, mentioning the “continued need to be present to Hispanic young adults, who “were filled with a lot of energy in their desire to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ.”