Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Matthew Maglalang and Theresa Tran enjoy garden at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.
Clarice KeatingAt St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Aloha, unity is rooted in the garden.
Of the Catholic Sentinel
“The main purpose of the garden is not to make tomatoes, but to make sure different ministries engage in that project, and familiarize one another with faces and names,” said Deacon Jesús Espinoza, pastoral associate.
The parish is about 70 percent Hispanic and the remaining 30 percent is comprised of people who identify themselves as Filipino, Anglo and Vietnamese.
When Espinoza arrived at the parish three years ago, he created requirements that all councils and ministries must represent the ethnic makeup of the parish.
The parish also hired a bilingual secretary to serve as a first point of contact for new families who are interested in joining the parish. The number of Hispanic parishioners has increased four or five times since Carmen Orozco arrived.
When Leonardo Defilippis visited the parish to present the “Passion According to St. Luke,” Espinoza stood up and announced the play at the Spanish Mass, though the performance was in English. It’s a story they all know well enough to enjoy even without the words, he said. Half the people who came to the show were Hispanic.
The performance was another chance for people from different backgrounds to mingle, and leaders at this parish take advantage of that whenever they can.