Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson hosted the first ever Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus Encounter in Spanish on May 20.

And as a measure of its success, within a few weeks the parish hosted a second Encounter.

Rocio Zamora, the parish’s Hispanic Ministry Coordinator, facilitated both programs.

According to Zamora, the nearly 25 people who attended the first Encounter came from several parishes in the Tucson Diocese. They are students in the diocese’s Ministerial Formation-Hispanic Ministry Program about to conclude their level II diocesan certification.

Very well received

“I think that the seminar was very well received,” Zamora reported. “The participants were very excited and many of them want to talk to their pastors to bring it to their parishes. I’m very grateful and exited that I had the opportunity to present this seminar in Spanish.”

Zamora, who had attended an earlier Encounter in English offered by the parish, said that initial experience “gave me a completely new way to see myself as a leader, and it has given me an invaluable tool to be more aware of how to minister to others in any environment I get involved in.”

That was why she was so eager to facilitate the Encounter in Spanish just as soon as the materials were available. “The effort of getting the Leading Like Jesus materials in Spanish was a wonderful thing. Praise be to God!” she said.

On the move

Rocio wasted no time in organizing a second Encounter in Spanish – this one on June 10 at Our Mother of Sorrows for 25 people who participated in the V Encuentro process, as well as religious education teachers from the parish’s bilingual program.

She believes that was just the second of many Encounters to come.

“The seminars were so well received that we would like to keep offering them two or three times a year in Spanish,” she says of her aspirations for her own parish -- and already a pastor in another parish has asked her to facilitate an Encounter for his parishioners in September.

“Thank you for this great program. I think that little by little it will spread throughout our diocese,” she says.

Lots of gratitude

“Words can’t express our gratitude to Rocio for being the first Facilitator to present the Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus Encounter in Spanish. She’s a real pioneer,” says Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute.

“We hope the May 20 Spanish Encounter at Our Mother of Sorrows is the first of countless thousands that will be held in the months and years ahead, and we will also remember that Rocio Zamora was the Facilitator who got the ball rolling,” he added.


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