By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — Mexican singer Priscila Angel sang a mix of her greatest hits and traditional Catholic worship songs as she inspired Spanish-speaking Catholics at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City on Dec. 14.
Accompanied by a tapestry of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the 41-year-old singer shared stories about her faith and offered encouragement to the 200-plus guests in the church. “We are a great Catholic family,” she told the crowd.
Priscila started her music career as the vocalist and accordionist of a band called “Las Balas de Plata” (“The Silver Bullets”). In 2008 she took first place on a Spanish reality show. After taking a break to pursue family life, she emerged as a Catholic Christian recording artist, releasing an album titled Eres Todo Señor (You Are Everything, Lord) in 2014. Priscila and her husband, Gustavo, have three children. “Our family is our first apostolate,” she told the crowd, adding that she did not regret leaving her band to make family her priority. She said that if everyone saw family as a priority, the world would not be quite so broken.
Father Guillermo Trevino, a priest of the Diocese of Davenport, started the evening with prayer. Then, he introduced Priscila, who asked those assembled to lift their hands and feel the Holy Spirit. The audience clapped and sang along with the emotional singer, who often touched her rosary inspired necklace and closed her eyes as she led the crowd in praising God through song.
Between songs, Priscila talked about her life and the lessons she has learned along the way. She prayed that the crowd be open to receiving the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. She encouraged the audience to lift up their prayer intentions. “Maybe today is a good day to ask God, ‘What is your will?’”
She talked about how prayer is like talking to a best friend. “Let’s learn to see in the smallest things in life the love of God.” She talked about the difficulty of being joyful while going through hard times, but God shares in those challenges. Don’t feel sorry for yourself and ask why, she said. Instead, ask what good can come of them.
Priscila spoke about Mary and led the crowd in an enthusiastic rendition of “La Guadalupana,” filled with cheers, whistles and gritos (a musical cry or yell). She also led the crowd in singing “Las Mañanitas” for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Then, the doors to the perpetual adoration chapel opened and everyone knelt to pray. While kneeling, Priscila sang worshipful songs such as “Sangre Preciosa.” She said when she participates in eucharistic adoration she focuses on making the most of the time she is spending with God in the present.
She thanked the diocesan Multicultural Ministry office for the invitation to perform and expressed gratitude to everyone who made the concert possible. Father Trevino offered an adoration prayer. The night ended with Priscila choosing a winner for the Multicultural Ministry office’s raffle. Raul Madrian from Muscatine claimed the prize — an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The crowd gave Priscila a standing ovation and she later signed autographs and took selfies with guests in the social hall. In the words of one guest, “She touched my heart.”
(Hugo Rodriguez contributed to this article.)