By: Fr. José Hoyos, Director, Spanish Apostolate
On May 20, 2017, a venue normally reserved for cheering soccer fans was transformed into something far different as 35,000 Catholics prayed for world peace in the Cuscatlán Stadium in El Salvador. Fr. José Hoyos had the privilege of preaching to the masses.
It was impressive to watch as thousands of people from the early morning hours and from different parts of El Salvador and other Central American countries stood in long lines to enter the extensive facilities of the famous Cuscatlán Stadium in the heart of the capital of El Salvador, San Salvador.
This occasion, though, was neither to witness soccer’s World Cup nor to enjoy a rock concert: We were there to participate in the great Feast of Pentecost and take the opportunity to celebrate 50 years of the Jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
As a preacher invited to this great spiritual feast, I felt a bit nervous. Rarely have I enjoyed the opportunity to preach before a large crowd that filled the stands of this stadium.
My preaching was based on the new Pentecost that is coming and to call upon Catholics to pray harder for peace and non-violence in El Salvador and in the world, as we are constantly threatened by terrorism. While preaching about the Holy Spirit, the crowds did the famous “wave.” This time, however, they were not screaming GOAL, but instead glory to God, Hallelujah! The goals in this setting were for those lacking faith, to invite young people to be worshippers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to work harder to set aside social indifference. It ended with a solemn Mass presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio Monsignor Leon Kalegna and the bishops representing the Conference of Catholic Bishops of El Salvador, and more than 100 priests and religious brothers and sisters.
The Eucharistic worship, the figure of the Virgin Mary, the prayer of the Holy Rosary, to share prayer and praises with other movements of the Church and be united and compliant to the hierarchy of the Church is what makes us true Catholics and active participants in this current of grace: the charismatic renewal.
All the baptized in the Catholic Church are called to evangelize, to welcome the immigrant families and proclaim a living Christ in our parishes.
Our faith, our example of evangelizing work is the best testimony to bring more people to the feet of Christ as there is a new rebirth of our Catholic Church.
The Feast of Pentecost did not end at this event. The commitment is to continue working in the new evangelization as missionary witnesses of God’s love and announcing the new culture of Pentecost with ardor and joy.