• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Monday, 29 June 2020 10:57

Fr Alejandro gets to know NZ Latino community

 

Alejandro with Latin American community NZ 450Fr Alejandro de la Sotta SVD arrived in New Zealand to take up his new post of chaplain to Auckland’s Latino community on March 17 – two days before the nation’s borders closed and people were ordered to stay at home to try and beat the coronavirus.

“I arrived, and a week later, the government announced a national quarantine,” he says.

Not to be deterred, Fr Alejandro, who was born and raised in Chile, jumped into his new ministry using the various tools at his disposal in these challenging and unusual times.

“We celebrated Masses via Zoom on Sundays,” he says. “It was a wonderful experience as many  Latinos, friends, family and many others who lived in New Zealand joined these Masses and even some Australians from Alice Springs (where Fr Alejandro was previously assigned) joined in.”

More recently, with New Zealand having controlled the pandemic and eased restrictions, the Latino community has been meeting at St Francis Church in Auckland’s suburbs, where Fr Alejandro is assistant priest, and soon they will return to their usual meeting place of St Benedict’s Church, which is closer to the city centre.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, Fr Alejandro says he has spoken with many people in the Latino community and is looking forward to working together with them.

“I have had the opportunity to share a lot with them,” he says. “We have many ideas for the future, taking advantage of what technology gives us.

“So far about 65 people have participated in the Masses and we expect about 80 people when we return to St Benedict’s. We will start some activities and invite many Latinos living in Auckland to take part in them.”

Fr Alejandro says the Spanish-speaking Catholic community in Auckland is made up of people from many nationalities, including Colombians, Venezuelans, Peruvians, Chileans, Salvadorans, Argentines and others, and there are many young people and families.

The Latino community celebrates Masses on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at St Benedict’s and there is another Latino community in Tauranga, about 240km from Auckland, which meets on the fifth Sunday, who he is also hoping to meet with more often.

Apart from celebrating the sacraments and sharing in community gatherings, Fr Alejandro is hoping to start a podcast with daily reflections on the gospel of the day “and some stories that feed the soul”.

“I hope to meet a community that wants to celebrate God in our own language,” he says.

“May we help each other as brothers with similar experiences of living away from home. I hope that as a community, we realise that as Latinos, we have a lot to offer, and not just receive from New Zealand.”

PHOTO: Fr Alejandro de la Sotta SVD, pictured with members of Auckland's Latino community.