Story by Armando Machado | Correspondent
Josue Arriola spoke with expertise and compassion as he addressed the dozens of faithful before him who gathered to better read and understand the Bible.
“You should be strong [Tu debe se fuerte] – dominate it [dominalo],” the diocesan director of Evangelization and Family Life said in addressing times when evil uses temptation to ruin the souls of the children of God. He spoke of the struggles of Adam and Eve – and their sons, Cain and Abel.
Photo Gallery: ‘Nuestra Historia de Salvacion’ seminar
Arriola’s talk was part of the “Nuestra Historia de Salvacion” (Our History of Salvation) seminar held Aug. 19 in Holy Family Church, Lakewood.
The seminar, sponsored by the Adult Faith Formation in the Diocese’s Department of Evangelization and Family Life, explained the major people, places, events and themes of Scripture. The day featured highlights of Salvation History, starting with the story of Creation through the present day. Conducted entirely in Spanish, the day was attended by about 80 people, many of them volunteers with parish-level Hispanic ministry programs within the Diocese.
Arriola was assisted in his presentations by inspirational music provided by St. Joseph Parish, Trenton. Organizers said the goal was to serve attendees in learning about the Word of the Lord in a way that is understandable and engaging so that they could walk away with renewed appreciation of the written Word.
He discussed Old Testament figures such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses, as well as the character flaws, personal struggles and sins of those in the Bible. He also noted their moments of revelation, days of redemption, seasons of salvation and rebirth of spirit before they went on to serve the Lord.
“There are moments in life when everything doesn’t seem as clear as you’d like ... but have faith in God, trust in him [confie en el],” Arriola said. “Ask God for his help – pray to him. Our mission is to get to know Jesus Christ and to present him to others.”
Discussing the significance of appreciating the value of the Church, the Sacraments and family – always with faith in the Lord – he said, “Brothers and sisters, trust in God [Confie en Dios]. Experience the love of God.”
Arriola also spoke with urgency about the importance of evangelization given today’s increasing moral and societal crises – ills that adversely impact many families and communities. As for the end of times, seminar material noted: “Only the father knows the day and the hour.”
David Aldazabal of St. Ann Parish, Browns Mills, said he found the seminar informative.
“We are learning how to better walk in the path of God,” he said. “We are learning more about our history of salvation.”
He noted that the presentations will help in his efforts as an Hispanic ministry volunteer at his parish.
Millie Arroyo of Christ the Redeemer Parish, Mount Holly, said she has always had an interest in the history of salvation.
“I liked all the [seminar] stories about history – and the fact that God gives us opportunities to get to know him, get to follow him,” she noted. “What I like about the characters [in the Bible] is that they relate to us and that we have an opportunity to come back to God.”