“The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few…” Luke 10:2
Our Diocesan Catholic family gathered on October 11, 2019 in Grand Junction, Colorado, at Mesa University, to pray for an increase in vocations and to promote Catholic values in our families.
It was a day filled with many blessings. In the procession of the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour were Fr. Matthew Wertin, Fr. Carl Wertin, Fr. Carlos Alvarez, Fr. Albeiro Herrera-Ciro, Fr. Andres Ayala-Santiago, Deacon Price Hitcher, Deacon Mario Diaz, the Poor Clare Sisters and a family who represented all the families of the Diocese of Pueblo.
During the Holy Hour, Fr. Andres preached about vocations, specifically the need to have a generous response to the will of God in our lives through the love of the Eucharist. It was deeply moving to see approximately 500 Catholics experience priests, deacons, sisters and lay people kneel before the Blessed Sacrament as they prayed for vocations while listening to Christian music provided by Fausto Reyes, from the Dominican Republic, and Isaac Sosa and his son Diego Sosa from the Diocese of Colorado Springs. The mercy of God was present and evident as Fr. Albeiro, Fr. Matthew and Fr. Carlos heard confessions for two hours. The Holy Hour ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament presided over by Fr. Carlos Alvarez.
One of the special blessings was the concert with Martin Valverde, a Costa-Rican-born composer, performer, and charismatic spiritual leader. Martin and his band, for more than two hours, preached, shared testimonies and entertained and energized the audience with their music.
When reflecting on the concert, participant Carlos Ruiz said: “The concert was an amazing experience. It was my third time attending one of his concerts, and as always, God touches our hearts in different ways. What I receive from his concerts, in Martin’s own words, “Grace is everywhere,” even in suffering. If we walk along with Jesus, we will discover His presence in the magnificent harmony of His creation. We will find God in every step of our lives.” Additionally, participant Kay Flint shared: “Attending the Martin Valverde Concert was truly a time to witness our Catholic Faith in action! While the music of Martin Valverde and his band was most enjoyable, it was seeing approximately 500 Catholics unite in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. That was truly inspiring! Just imagine priests, deacons, religious sisters, men, women, and children kneeling before our Lord and praying for vocations! I am so thankful to have had this amazing opportunity to join in song and prayer as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ promoting vocations!”
The Diocese of Pueblo is truly blessed to host this amazing and historical event. Special thanks to all who helped and sponsored this event, especially the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Pueblo.
May the seeds of this event bring many good fruits in our lives, especially in vocations.
Contributor: Father Andres Ayala-Santiago is a priest for the Diocese of Pueblo. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Fr. Andres received his priestly formation at St. Joseph Seminary in Guadalajara and Our Lady Guadalupe Hispano Seminary in Mexico City. He was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Arthur Tafoya at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and ordained a priest by Bishop Fernando Isern at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pueblo Colorado. Fr. Andres is the Pastor of St. Peter’s in Gunnison, Colorado.