Father Pablo Migone, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Savannah, speaks on Best Practices for Hispanic Ministry at Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae-Helena on Saturday, Feb. 9. Photo by Sarah Routh.
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Meeting of Hispanic Ministry Coordinators/ Reunion de Coordinadores de Ministerio Hispanio

Originally Appeared in : 9904-2/14/19

MCRAE-HELENA--Over 60 people from parishes and missions in the Diocese of Savannah gathered to learn and grow in their faith on Feb. 9-10 at Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae-Helena. Attendees included those involved in Hispanic Ministry in some capacity who were eager to bring some fresh, exciting ideas and knowledge back to their home parishes. These individuals, either official parish staff or volunteers, were chosen by their parish priest(s) and given the opportunity to help create a stronger sense of community among our Hispanic brothers and sisters throughout the diocese.

 

“We want to give them a better skill set to do what they do when it comes to being a leader in the Hispanic community, but we also wanted to give them an opportunity to network and meet each other . . . to spend time together to talk and share ideas,” said Father Pablo Migone, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Savannah. “It’s also a way for the diocese to encourage them, to offer them the resources that the diocese can offer to them.”

 

Parishes represented included: St. Teresa, Albany; St. Raymond, Alma; St. Mary, Americus; St. Joseph, Augusta; St. Joseph, Bainbridge; St. Rose of Lima, Baxley; St. Francis Xavier, Brunswick; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Cairo; St. Christopher, Claxton; St. Theresa, Cordele; St. Teresa of Avila, Grovetown; Good Shepherd, Hazlehurst; St. Stephen, Hinesville; St. Peter Claver, Macon; Holy Family, Metter; St. Anne, Richmond Hill; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sandhill; Sacred Heart, Savannah; St. Boniface, Springfield; Holy Trinity, Swainsboro; St. Augustine, Thomasville; Our Divine Saviour, Tifton; St. John the Evangelist, Valdosta; Sacred Heart, Vidalia; Sacred Heart, Warner Robins; and St. Joseph, Waycross.

 

The weekend consisted of workshops, but also spiritual strengthening. Saturday sessions were kicked off by Gerardo Salazar who traveled from Texas to present on behalf of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas. He spoke about the reality of how one’s ministry is affected when there is a change in the pastor is and how to best respond to it.
Father Pablo Migone, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Savannah, presented best practices for Hispanic Ministry. Sister Margarita Morales, from the Order of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Discipulas de Jesus Buen Pastor) in Bluffton, South Carolina, gave a talk on how to persevere in service and not burn out. Father Kevin O’Keefe from Sacred Heart Church in Warner Robins spoke on healing wounds. 

 

Saturday evening concluded with Eucharistic Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and confession. On Sunday, Gerardo Salazar spoke on the ministry of hospitality and how to feel welcome. The weekend-long meeting concluded with Mass.

 

The idea for the gathering emerged through the Hispanic Ministry Council which is a group developed by Lili Niederkorn, Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese, which consists of a mix of both priests and lay people who offer advice for next steps within Hispanic Ministry. The need had been discussed over the past three years and this was the first year of its implementation. The event is part of the Hispanic Ministry initiative for the diocese to help strengthen leadership and better organization of Hispanic Ministry.

 

“On a human level, it’s good for these folks to talk to each other and get to know each other. It brings the human contact for a sense of community. In a diocese like ours where communities are far from each other, there’s the reality that folks that are responsible for ministry start to feel isolated. . . they start feeling the weight of the world is on their shoulders,” said Father Pablo Migone. “This is a way to share that load and help them realize they’re not alone.”

 

Sarah Routh is a frequent freelance contributor to the Southern Cross. She and her husband, Lehman, are members of Immaculate Conception Church in Dublin.

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