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Hispanic young adult conference draws hundreds

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Nearly 600 young adults gathered for the Regional Congress of Young Adults Oct. 28 at Herndon Middle School in Herndon. Organized by the diocesan Spanish Apostolate with the support of the Young Adult Charismatic Renewal and other diocesan groups, the event included prayer, reflections, testimonies, music, lunch and a holy hour.


The main objective was to continue supporting the efforts that young adults are making in their diocesan parishes and prayer groups.


The immigrant Hispanic community is going through a difficult time with the current immigration situation. Today among families, especially among young adults, there is a lot of fear, frustration and an uncertainty about the future.


That's why at this gathering I encouraged the young dreamers who are fighting for the government to approve the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Also, it was an opportunity to prepare to celebrate the V Encuentro de Pastoral Hispano as “missionary disciples and witnesses of God's love.”


There were several opportunities to encourage the young adults to get closer to God, including a powerful Eucharistic Adoration Holy Hour. The most moving moment was when Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge spoke to the youths and encouraged them to move forward. He told them, “The young adults are part of our ecclesial family. All the Bishops in the United States are praying for you, and we are with you. Keep moving forward. This is the best time to give your lives to God. Stay strong and united. I carry you in my hearts.” The youths also were able to ask Bishop Burbidge several questions.


Many of the young people will return to their parishes with a wonderful experience of faith, ready to participate in the New Evangelization, and proud to belong to this Diocese of Arlington.


Fr. Hoyos is director of the Diocesan Spanish Apostolate.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017