Días de Formación held in four sites across diocese

By Deacon Jerry LeBlanc
This summer the Hispanic Ministry team completed a series of formation days, Días de Formación, in the Diocese of Pueblo. The formation days were presented at St. Mary in Montrose, St. Patrick/Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lamar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Pueblo, and Sacred Heart in Alamosa. Father Andres Ayala was the keynote speaker in Pueblo and Alamosa; Father Albiero Herrera was the keynote speaker in Montrose. Break-out sessions were presented by Father Don Malin, Carlos Ruiz, Nicole Ruiz, and Deacon Jerry LeBlanc.

The primary purpose of the formation days was to enhance the lay ministry of Hispanics in areas with a high concentration of Hispanic parishioners. The keynote presentations and the break-out sessions were conducted in Spanish.

Each of the formation days began with prayer followed by the keynote address. Carlos Ruiz’ presentation centered around the role of the laity as described in the Second Vatican Council’s document, “Lumen Gentium.” Deacon Jerry LeBlanc spoke of the baptismal call to serve. Nicole Ruiz led a discussion on the call to be salt and light in the world. Bishop Stephen Berg was present at the formation days along with a total of 350 people throughout all the sites. A luncheon and childcare was provide at each site. Lay leaders in each community took responsibility for preparing the liturgies, meals, childcare, and other logistics.

Each of the events was well received. Silvia Arias, the director of faith formation at Sacred Heart in Alamosa said, “We rejoice in knowing that the Hispanic/Latino people in the Diocese of Pueblo are a gift and a blessing to the Church. The day of formation was a great opportunity for encountering God in the faith community. May we offer all of our efforts to the God of life by working in his vineyard together and asking him to continue to bless us with the gift of faith.”

Maria Torres, a lay leader from Florence said, “I felt that this is exactly what was needed for those of us in Spanish ministry. I learned that we have a much needed support system now.”

At the formation events key leaders in each area were identified and contacts were established.

Pastors, deacons, and office staff in each of the parishes were quite helpful and supportive of the work of the Hispanic Ministry team. The team is in the process of clarifying short term and long term goals.