Archbishop Gregory Aymond was on hand March 31 to celebrate a Mass marking the 40th anniversary celebration of the Hispanic Apostolate at the new home of the ministry at the former St. Lawrence the Martyr in Metairie.
Groups representing the Hispanic Apostolate and other Latino organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans processed with banners to the altar, and a jubilant choir sang at Mass.
Father Lance Campo, the coordinator of Hispanic ministries for the archdiocese, Father Luis Henao and Mensaje’s director Father Pedro Nunez concelebrated with Archbishop Aymond and offered a few words at the end of Mass. Father Henao gave a 40-year history of the apostolate that mentioned its many locations in the archdiocese.
“I offer heartfelt thanks to the Hispanic community for the many blessings you have brought to our community and archdiocese,” Archbishop Aymond said.
He said he hoped that Latinos would find a welcoming home at the new Hispanic Apostolate center.
“Know that we have a great love for you as you come here to evangelize others and bring them to the church,” Archbishop Aymond said.
Mensaje was hosting a charismatic conference the same weekend of the anniversary. Father Pedro Nunez, director of Mensaje, spoke about the services being offered by the Hispanic Apostolate and thanked the archbishop for sharing the special day and giving the Latinos in New Orleans such a nice home.
“We can do a lot of ministries but the most important ministry is the love of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit,” Father Nunez said. “Christ rejoices in the 40 years of Spanish ministry in the archdiocese.”
Archbishop Aymond blessed the buildings used by the Hispanic Apostolate as well as the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center on the same campus. A reception followed with a display of photos and artifacts detailing the history of the apostolate.
The Hispanic Apostolate is located at 2505 Maine Ave., Metairie, and is open five days a week. Immigration assistance including lawyer services, translation services, emergency assistance, refugee and anti-trafficking services, English as Second Language and citizenship classes and workers’ rights classes are among the programs offered at the apostolate. Call 467-3462 or 467-2550.