Lay ministry students on retreat

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Father Rene Canales, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, leads a retreat for students of the Camden Diocese’s IMEC (Instituto de Ministerio Eclesial de Camden) at the Saint John Paul II Retreat Center in Vineland on May 18. Below, participants on retreat.

The annual retreat for students of the diocese’s IMEC (Instituto de Ministerio Eclesial de Camden) took place last Saturday at Saint John Paul II Retreat Center in Vineland.

IMEC is the lay ministry formation program for Spanish-speaking adults, with classes in Sacred Scripture, Theology, Spirituality, and Pastoral Skills. They are currently 88 students in six locations around the diocese: Blackwood, Ocean City, Hammonton, Bridgeton, Swedesboro and Vineland.

The day-long retreat, led by Father Rene Canales, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, focused on the students’ call to holiness and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide their steps.

In addition to the presentation by Father Canales, the day included meditation, adoration, fellowship and music by parishioners of Vineland’s Divine Mercy Parish.

“This retreat was key to motivate students to open their hearts to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit,” said Andres Arango, Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Camden. “In being led by the Holy Spirit, we will be faithful in serving others,” he said.