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Thoughts from the Gunnison Fairgrounds Congreso


I write this, having just attended the Congreso Eucharistico Diocesano held at the Gunnison County Fairgrounds. Traveling that Saturday morning from Pueblo, it was pleasing to see how green were the mountains and fields, and how bright and high the rushing streams. The day was bright and sunny. It was a good day for an excursion with the Lord.


Deacon Dan and I arrived at the fairgrounds in good time and entered the main exhibition hall. The Congreso was well underway. You could feel the energized wall of prayer as you walked in, enveloping and lifting you up. Parishioners and clergy were gathered from Center, Olathe, Canyon City, Alamosa, Pueblo, Montrose, Grand Junction, Delta, across the diocese, from Denver and Texas. . . Children were flowing freely through the scene and being rounded up for catechesis into an adjacent room. The pungent smell of cooking, especially red chili and tortillas, was in the air.


"Parishioners and clergy were gathered from Center, Olathe, Canyon City, Alamosa, Pueblo, Montrose, Grand Junction, Delta, across the diocese, from Denver and Texas."

This gathering was a continuing response to the synodal call of Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, experienced through the past three years of listening, prayer sessions and convocations, to bring forth a true Eucharistic Revival for the universal Church. Through many events of the synodal process we have been blessed by awakenings to the work of the Holy Spirit and called into mission. The Hispanic response has been heartfelt, profound, and foundational throughout the diocese.


It is fascinating to see how the Spirit manifests itself through a diversity of Hispanic cultures. The main presenter, Omar Maytorena, works in the Archdiocese of Quito, Ecuador; the musician, Freddy Flores, hails from El Salvador. Together with Father Andres Ayala, born in Mexico and pastor of St Peter’s in Gunnison, Queen of all Saints in Crested Butte, and St Rose of Lima in Lake City, they addressed the spiritual and catechetical components needed for revival in a spontaneous outflowing of the Spirit in ways that were carefully organized around themes reflecting the desires expressed throughout our synodal process.


"Through many events of the synodal process we have been blessed by awakenings to the work of the Holy Spirit and called into mission."

Themes such as opening the heart to healing, encountering healing in the Eucharist, and entering into true communion, which is community in relation with the Holy Spirit and its charisms, bringing those charisms into missionary discipleship through the Eucharist. As I celebrated the Liturgy for the Congreso on that Saturday morning and the community became one in Christ, I experienced the urgency of bringing forward these hopeful signs of renewal into all parishes and missions throughout the diocese.


We are being awakened and called through the Holy Spirit, blessed with the efforts of so many parishes and missions, and inevitably moving into a true Eucharistic Revival. We hear of parishes implementing the next steps discerned in the Holy Spirit at the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress last May. Many are seeing a powerful response to their efforts as we grow to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist.


"We are being awakened and called through the Holy Spirit, blessed with the efforts of so many parishes and missions, and inevitably moving into a true Eucharistic Revival."

There are significant opportunities ahead to learn more about the work of the Spirit in our midst at the Deanery Eucharistic Gatherings which will take place in Montrose, Alamosa, Durango, Pueblo and La Junta in September and October. I invite you to plan now, and attend the gathering nearest you, to participate in celebrating the Eucharist with me and others excited by faith, and to be converted and inspired by Jesus. Together we will hear the Good News, grow in understanding, and be equipped and strengthened to carry our unique gift of the Eucharist forward into the world!

+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg

Bishop of Pueblo




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