The blessing of 18 years of La Pastoral Juvenil Hispana

February 27, 2018

In January we held the 18th Vigilia Pastoral, an all-night Eucharist Adoration organized and led by our Hispanic young adults of the Archdiocese.

The event started the evening of Saturday, Jan. 20 and ended the morning of Sunday, Jan. 21 with Mass celebrated by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. All the organization, coordination and promotion for this event was done by the Hispanic young adults.

This event was full of excitement and enthusiasm. Our Hispanic young adults loved to be in Adoration all night in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Eighteen years have gone by and it is still a joy to see Hispanic young adults put all this work together because they are answering their call to serve God through the ministry of Hispanic Young adults and the Pastoral Juvenil.

As the night went on, it was also a blessing to see how some of the young adults that are now married came with their children to be part of this night.
At one point there were part of the organizing committees, but now they come to support the active Pastoral Juvenil. This shows that the delegation of work, the legacy of a Spirituality of Communion, a Pastoral de Conjunto has been set for these Hispanic young adults to continue the work.

The theme this year was, “Do not afraid, open the doors to Christ,” which meant that through the night of prayer, adoration, praise and worship young adults and the community that participated would see that God is our hope; for them to not be afraid of all the occurrences that are happening nowadays, such as the natural disasters that have destroyed parts of the world, the violence that is happening in our country and in the world, and the abuse against many people, including Christians, who have to flee from their countries for safety.

The second part of the theme was “I will rejoice in the Lord, he is my shelter.” (Ps 32:7)

At the end of the Vigilia Pastoral, the message was clear for all of the young adults and community in attendance to not be afraid; to open their lives and hearts to God as their hope for anything that they might struggle with in their lives or surroundings.

The vigilia can be seen as another event were we gather around 1,500 people, including 900 Hispanic young adults. However, at the end we can see how God was present by keeping all of them awake and praising God like there was no end to the night. We could see God’s presence as they gather as community, as that spiritual family to embrace and honor God.

Throughout the night we hear the Hispanic young adults say that Pope Francis is calling us to be “missionaries of hope,” and I believe that these Hispanic young adults came out and will continue to be those missionaries of hope to our city, country and world.

Mirna Ochoa is an associate director with the Archdiocesan Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.