|July 9, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 18|
Hispanic Mass at Cathedral draws 1,000
The diocesan Hispanic Celebration, held every other year at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, was held this year on June 24. The colorful event drew approximately 1,000 Catholics from many parishes — far and wide, both big and small.
Most parish communities with members present had colorful banners which were carried in a long procession and then placed on a pole by the Cathedral’s two transepts. They ranged from the small rural Good Samaritan Parish in Amelia to larger parishes like St. Augustine’s in Richmond.
Father Wayne Ball, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Richmond, presided at the Mass in Spanish.
Father Carlos Lerma, newly ordained and who began his first priestly assignment as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Newport News, gave the homily.
“John the Baptist proclaimed the message of repentance to the people of Israel,” Father Lerma said in the homily.
He pointed out that John was the one who baptized Christ in the River Jordan and that “the One who will come after will baptize with water and the Holy Spirit.”
The congregation loudly affirmed the presence of “Obispo” Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo who before the final blessing gave a brief message in Spanish.
“It’s an honor to serve the Hispanic community,” Bishop DiLorenzo said, and then added that he needed the Hispanic community’s help.
“Please let us extend our arms in welcome to others and invite them to be part of our religious family,” the Bishop said.
The Hispanic community of the Diocese of Richmond works in conjunction with the Bishop, the priests and the deacons to be involved in ministry doing parish work, Father Lerma said.
He encouraged those present to get involved in ministry which might include teaching classes for first Communion, teaching parents who are preparing to have their children baptized, or serving as lector or Eucharistic minister in their parish.
“We must respond with the bishop, the priests and deacons and walk with them on the journey,” he said.
Later Father Lerma told The Catholic Virginian that it was important and good for the people of so many different parishes to come together.
“That way we know we are a Catholic community of faith and to be with our bishop,” he explained.
Ordained a priest June 2, the Colombian-born Father Lerma said he continued to spend time with the people of St. Joseph’s in Martinsville where he first came when he arrived in Virginia.
“I got to know many people and got involved with the ministry there,” he said, but noted that he had enjoyed all the parishes in which he had been assigned during his priestly formation.
Proceeds from the collection will benefit the Segura Educational Initiative which provides tuition assistance to Hispanic students at Catholic schools.
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