Spanish-speaking charismatic Catholics form virtual community


By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

Charismatic prayer groups of Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Davenport Diocese come together virtually on Saturday nights in May for a prayer service to prepare for Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

They created a Facebook page as the meeting place for their virtual community, called Grupos de Oracion Carismatica Diocesis de Davenport. Watch their livestreamed and recorded prayer services on Facebook at this link:

Martin and Lorena Perez of St. Mary Parish in Davenport hosted the first prayer service on May 9 at 6 p.m. from their dining room table in their home. A Bible holder and large candle had been placed on the table. A crucifix and paintings of the Blessed Mother and the Holy Family decorated the wall behind the couple. All of those things established an atmosphere of prayer for the livestreamed and recorded event.


Getting together this way helps families to feel like they are doing something to respond to the tragedy of the coronavirus crisis, prayer group members say. “We need to pray even more,” Genoveva Diaz of St. James Parish in Washington said during a Zoom video conference interview last week. She and her family hosted the May 16 prayer service at their home.

“It is necessary to form community and use technology to do it. Praying alone as individuals is different from praying as a group,” said William Figueroa of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa. Father Joseph Sia, the prayer groups’ diocesan liaison interpreted for Figueroa. “This is the first time all of the groups are praying together,” the priest said.

Spanish-speaking charismatic prayer groups are based in Davenport, Washington, Ottumwa, West Liberty, Iowa City, Columbus Junction and Muscatine. Together, they had been meeting monthly in person to collaborate and to coordinate retreats, workshops, vigils, prayer services and other activities. They also make sure that their activities support and do not conflict with activities planned by Miguel Moreno, diocesan coordinator of Multicultural Ministry.

Saturday night prayer services this month offer Scripture readings for that Sunday, prayer and worship songs, and whatever the host family feels moved to offer. Figueroa’s family will host the May 23 prayer service, focusing on the Ascension of the Lord, “the entry of Jesus’ humanity into divine glory in God’s heavenly domain” (CCC). They will also talk about “how the church was born.”

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