As bishops in the United States sponsored the National Week of
Migration, Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge issued a statement inviting Catholic
immigrant families to attend a healing Mass at Mount Vernon High School gym in
Alexandria Jan. 14. More than 4,000 people attended the Mass, organized by the Renovación
Carismástica and supported by other diocesan councils.
The celebrant was Father José E. Hoyos, director of the diocesan Spanish
Apostolate. Father Luis H. Quiñónez, parochial vicar of Good Shepherd Church in
In his homily, Father Hoyos said, “Bishop Michael Burbidge has
prayed for and supported our immigrant families and has thanked the churches
who for many years have welcomed foreigners and refugees.
“Today in this Mass of healing, we join also to ask God for the
new government, that immigrant families will leave behind fears about massive
deportations and will not forget that our office is here to support, and never
lose faith or hope.”
People participated in liturgical songs, prayers, Eucharist and
Churches in the diocese are not the same as they were 20 years
ago, said Father Hoyos, due to pastoral programs, the effort of diocesan
councils and priests who collaborate with Hispanic ministry. The Hispanic
Catholic community continues to grow in faith.
Father Hoyos asked for prayers for the Fifth National Encuentro
of Hispanic Ministry, which will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 20, 2018.
The Encuentro will encourage church leaders to be active and participate in the