HASTINGS (SNR) – The Hispanic “Light of the World” (Luz del Mundo) group of Hastings continued its work of evangelization and development of lay leadership in Lent with two events.
The group organized a weekend retreat Feb. 26-28 for the Spanish-speaking community of St. Andrew Parish in Tecumseh. The laity were joined with Sister Yolanda, C.P.F., of the Passionist Sisters who assist in pastoral care for Hispanic communities, and Father Julius Tvrdy, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Harvard and director of Hispanic ministry in the Hastings area.
“An essential part of the 20-person team was our parish choral group that lifted our hearts and spirits with great music,” Father Tvrdy added.
Father Tvrdy switched parishes for the weekend with St. Andrew pastor Father Craig Clinch, who directs Hispanic ministry for the Tecumseh area. They offered 40 hour devotion talks in English for the parishes, thus providing two events in two parishes at the same time.
The Luz del Mundo community provided talks and music for the Spanish-speaking community of Tecumseh, while the Tecumseh Hispanic community provided enthusiasm and hospitality.
“Their hospitality was very evident,” Father Tvrdy said, “in the abundance of good food and lodging at the Convent House in Steinauer. The weekend was full of music, talks, time for prayer and Adoration, as well as many opportunities for sharing between new friends.
“The times of sharing were an effective opportunity for lay leaders to exchange ideas and extend encouragement to each other.”
Last year the Hastings community provided similar events in Minden and Imperial, and this year, Father Tvrdy said, the Minden community returned the favor.
“While I was in Tecumseh,” he explained, Father Clinch was in Hastings giving talks in Spanish at a Saturday evening of renewal. To help ‘the remnant’ left behind in Hastings to receive
Father Clinch, the Minden Luz del Mundo group came and provided music and witness talks while those in Hastings provided the food and hospitality.
“This was the first time the Minden Luz del Mundo group missioned to another parish,” Father Clinch stated. “It was great learning experience for all three parishes.”
The Hastings group also held an event March 12, directed to the continual growth and development of the team: a retreat to prepare for Holy Week.
The speakers for this day of prayer and reflection were taken from their own membership: Father Tvrdy, Sister Yolanda, Geraldo Martinez and two friends of the community: Permanent Deacon Gregorio Elizalde, director of Hispanic ministries in Omaha, and Adolfo Aleman, a participant in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese’s permanent deacon program.
“Like many days of reflection, this day offered time for prayer and reflection on talks that were both informative as well as inspiring,” Father Tvrdy said. “Moreover it was an opportunity for lay leaders to minister to fellow lay leaders, encouraging each other to embrace their apostolate in the Church.
“I am encouraged to see our Light of the World group continue to develop and provide these opportunities of growth,” he continued, “for those who can have such a great influence on our parish life.”