SAN DIEGO – Many parents know the drill. They have to cajole their children to go with them to Mass. And the parents themselves find it challenging to carve out time to do so. Beyond Sundays, many find it tough to live their faith every day.
The diocese’s Hispanic Commission is presenting a three-night conference in August to strengthen the entire family featuring a renowned speaker, Father Agustino Torres, CFR.
The Mexican-American priest, who lives in New York, appears at events across the United States, including the Religious Education Congress, as well as in other countries. He’s a high-energy, entertaining storyteller who engages audiences, particularly young people, sharing how they can live faith-filled lives.
“The idea is to give spiritual nourishment to young people with their parents in the room,” said Narciso Guzmán, the conference’s coordinator. “If they receive it together, there is a greater understanding between them, precisely because they are together, and both are nourished.”
He encouraged families to make space for the conference.
“As a grandfather, I’m going to try to take my granddaughters because I’m very interested that they hear the Father’s message.”
The first night, Aug. 6, Father Agustino’s talk will be bilingual so he can better engage Hispanic young people, many of whom prefer English. The second and third nights, Aug. 7 and 8, will be mainly in Spanish. There will be Eucharistic adoration on the first and second nights, and Father Agustino will celebrate Mass after his talk the third night.
The coordinator said the commission invited Father Agustino “mainly because he’s so dynamic, so sincere. And we invited him because of all the experience he has working with young people and their families.”
Father Agustino’s diverse ministry keeps him on the go. He’s a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal based in the Bronx. He founded an organization to form young people called Corazón Puro, which means “Pure Heart” in Spanish. He helped to open Catholic Underground, a cultural apostolate that showcases Catholic artists, and two houses of discernment, Casa Guadalupe (for women) and JPII (men).
If that weren’t enough, he hosts two programs on the EWTN network, “Icons” and “Clic con Corazón Puro” in Spanish.
He’s visited the San Diego Diocese in recent years, speaking at the Walk for Life, at a catechetical gathering, and, most recently, at the conference “Faith in the Valley” last November in Calexico.
The Hispanic Commission for the Spanish-Speaking is organizing the conference, in its fifth year, in collaboration with the diocese. The commission brings together Hispanic ecclesial movements, associations, apostolates and parish groups in the diocese.
The conference is a way to bring Latino Catholics together, Guzmán said.
“All of these groups have their own events,” he said. “The idea is for everyone to grow together in our faith.”
The conference for Hispanic Catholic families “Reclaiming Our Identity as Children of God,” featuring Father Agustino Torres, CFR, will be held on Aug. 6, 7 and 8, from 6:30-10 p.m., at Good Shepherd Parish in Mira Mesa. The first night, Aug. 6, will be bilingual and aimed at youth. The other two nights will be in Spanish. The conference is free of charge. For more information, contact Alejandra Díaz at (858) 490-8306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.