Hispanics Catholics attend fifth annual gathering

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz gestures to Deacon Aurelio Puga during the fifth annual Hispanic Day of Reflection held April 5 at the Maloney Center. About 60 people attended the event. (Photo Special to The Record by Ruby Thomas)

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz gestures to Deacon Aurelio Puga during the fifth annual Hispanic Day of Reflection held April 5 at the Maloney Center. About 60 people attended the event. (Photo Special to The Record by Ruby Thomas)

By Ruby Thomas, Special to The Record

Close to 60 members of the Hispanic Catholic community gathered for the fifth annual Hispanic Day of Reflection Saturday, April 5, at the Maloney Center.

The group, which included children, youth and adults, took part in workshops and discussions under the theme “Llamados a Ser Una Familia Evangelizadora” (“Called to be an Evangelizing Family.”)

During his homily, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz praised them for their tradition of strong family values, saying this was one of the gifts that Hispanics bring to the church. In a time when families seem to be breaking down, he said, they are to be a beacon.

“You are meant to be an example,” the archbishop said. “You are to be the leaven not only for others from Latin America, but for people throughout the church.”
Archbishop Kurtz said the new evangelization called for strengthening of families as well as the strengthening of knowledge and devotion to the gospel.

“We need you to be committed to your family and to deepening your devotion to God, to Mass, prayers and the church,” he continued. He reminded them that the work of the new evangelization needs each and every one of them, and he advised them not to think of themselves as too old or too young to carry out the responsibility of spreading the good news. The archbishop assured older parishioners that their “witness and wisdom is very important.”

“When God calls us he gives each of us special gifts no matter how young or old we are,” he told them.

The archbishop said that the new evangelization requires Christians to do some work on themselves beforehand.

“We are called to be attractive witnesses to our faith, but we cannot do so unless we grow stronger in our knowledge and love of that faith,” he said.

But that is only the beginning, the archbishop added. The next step is to speak up, he said, and he urged them to do so. Archbishop Kurtz said that this has become a nation of non-believers, because not enough people are speaking of their religion.

He shared the story of Nicodemus, who was attracted to Jesus’ teachings but too timid to come forward.

When Nicodemus first approached Jesus, the archbishop noted, he did so in the middle of the night. Later in the Scriptures, Nicodemus showed some bravery in coming to Jesus’ defense after Jesus was arrested, the archbishop noted.

Archbishop Kurtz urged those present to consider whether they would speak up for Jesus if they were Nicodemus. That is a decision each has to make, he said.
“The only thing I know for sure is that the cross of Jesus gives us the power to speak up, but will not force us to do so,” he assured them.

He urged them to let that day of reflection be a fire to ignite the enthusiasm and courage needed to speak for Christ.

This event was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministry.

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