In His Own Words
This blog will focus on the article entitled “Building Upon Faith at La Sagrada Familia” that was written on March 31, 2016. It can be found at http://catholicherald.org/news/local/building-upon-faith-at-la-sagrada-familia/.
Reading about the state of La Sagrada Familia from its pastor, Fr. Juan Camacho, is very enlightening. As a cradle Catholic, I am very used to the parish being a long-standing, driving force in the community. I tend to connect my faith in God with the bricks and mortar church. The folks at La Sagrada Familia Parish believe in God and are very religious, but this concept of church is a new one that Fr. Camacho is bringing into their lives. As the church in their community grows, they continue to find value in it. It’s incredible to see the church serve 30,000 people in the area. That doesn’t happen overnight; these people have finally been exposed to the spirit of a parish and have responded with open arms.
It is apparent that the younger generation at La Sagarada Familia is actively seeking God and their faith. Fr. Camacho explains that many of the parishioners are in their teens and 20s and come on their own. They are yearning for more ways to be involved. God is central to their lives and they have developed a deep faith that impacts their lives on so many levels. I am very excited for us to share with one another the stories of the journeys of our faith. That’s where true growth happens. Opening up and taking the time to listen to someone’s story provides the opportunity to achieve solidarity.
La Sagrada Familia is committed to developing leaders that can spread the word of God through knowledge of the Scriptures. This is a terrific way to continue growing the parish and I am looking forward to seeing these leaders in action.
It must be recognized that the biggest hardship these folks face is poverty. Some parishioners own land, but many do not and have to depend on daily work being offered to make a living. Despite the poverty, they are strengthened through their involvement in the parish, their support for each other and their faith in God. In the end, happiness of the soul is greater than any monetary comfort.
This trip isn’t about coming to solve problems or change their lives; it’s about sharing faith, hope and community with the goal of forming lifelong relationships with each other. Fr. Camacho sums it up wonderfully when he says “The only thing I want is for you to be a better person when you return to Milwaukee…We are on the same pilgrimage of faith.”