Crosiers launch program for Latino young adults

Amigos Cruzados celebrate inaugural Mass with special blessing

Amigos Cruzados Mass28-OCT-17 (Phoenix, Arizona) – The Crosier Fathers and Brothers launched a cultural outreach ministry, Amigos Cruzados (Crosier Friends), designed to encourage Latino adults ages 18–40 to connect with God and the Church. The inaugural Mass was celebrated Oct. 28 at the Crosiers’ Priory Church of the Holy Cross at Crosier Village, 717 E. Southern Ave. in Phoenix. Fr. Tom Enneking, osc, presided over the Mass, which included original songs and musical accompaniment provided by members of the Amigos Cruzados founding core team. Fellowship, conversation and a special dinner followed Mass. 

“It was a blessing to feel the Spirit alive and inspiring the energy throughout the church,” said Fr. Tom, prior of the Crosier Community of Phoenix. “Our hope and goal is that Amigos Cruzados will grow and flourish. We have learned that there is such a need and desire on the part of younger people to draw strength from their faith and be part of something larger.” 
Br. Javier Garcia, osc, a professed Crosier in initial formation, and a core team of young adults from the South Phoenix area, developed this program as part of Br. Javier’s field education in his seminary studies at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. Br. Javier is spending his fall semester in Phoenix, taking online classes and intensive workshops in addition to the field education. “The purpose and need of this project is to reach out to the younger Latino people and invite them to see the Church as a mother and teacher, not a judge,” said Br. Javier. 
To develop this ministry in the best way possible, Br. Javier has been participating in youth ministry workshops and meetings offered by the Diocese of Phoenix. He has been working under the supervision of Carmen Portela, director of Hispanic parish leadership support for the diocese. Br. Javier is also working remotely with Barbara Sutton, his field education teacher from St. John’s, and with his Phoenix community brothers. Fr. Stephan Bauer, osc, will continue to mentor the group after Br. Javier returns to his on-campus studies at St. John’s in January.
The Crosiers will celebrate the Amigos Cruzdos Mass every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. followed by fellowship, conversation and a short activity. The activities and Amigos Cruzados grouptopics for conversation and reflection will change each week. The core team reached out to many young adults from the South Phoenix Latino community and produced a list of topics they would like to discuss, such as how to connect with and enhance their faith, Jesus in today’s families and in society, music as art and life’s challenges.
Br. Javier said, “This experience has helped me grow as a Crosier both in my spiritual and community life. I feel this opportunity is very integral to my formation in Crosier Religious Life. It may not always be easy, but I learn something from each experience.”