Day of revival set for Sunday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 28, 2009

Natchez — A day of revival — retiro evangelizacion — for Hispanic people is scheduled for 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday at Assumption Catholic Church on Morgantown Road, Rev. David O’Connor said.

“This is a part of the church’s outreach to Hispanic people, most of whom are baptized Roman Catholic,” he said.

The revival day was planned by members of the Hispanic community who live in the Natchez area, including Maya Helbling, Maria Mendoza, Vianey Lozano and Sister Gabriela Ramirez who is director of Hispanic ministry for the Catholic diocese of Jackson.

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“The purposes of the all-day program this Sunday are to bring together Hispanic people in the Miss-Lou for presentations on spirituality, to answer questions about the faith, to explore the religious and family needs of the participants, and to celebrate Sunday Mass,” Helbling said.

Sister Ramirez said the church can create a community for the Hispanic population.

“Many of the young Hispanic couples and individuals living in the Miss-Lou are far away from home and the Catholic church in Natchez can be ‘a home away from home’ for them,” she said. “We made a survey of this population in February and found that some need baptism for their children, after school assistance with homework, information on how to acquire documentation for residence and work in this country, and classes in English for adults.”

Helbling said the local Catholic congregations will organize after-school home work classes for Hispanic children in Natchez, and will set up English classes for adults and will make church halls available for social and educational purposes.

The Rev. Manuel Ramirez will lead the program and will be available for counseling. He will also preach at the worship service. Lunch will be served at noon. No reservations are needed.

O’Connor said he hopes Sunday’s program will spur more similar activities.

“I hope that the participants this Sunday will set up a permanent working committee that will plan future programs and advise me on the needs of the Hispanic people,” he said.

Julietta Mendez, director of immigration services for the Jackson Catholic diocese is available once a month at Assumption church hall for legal consultation. For further information contact 601-442-7250 for Assumption or 601-445-5616 for St. Mary Basilica.