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Report on Immanuel's Outreach in the Dominican Republic

5/25/2013

Your Outreach Committee wants the Parish to be up-to-date on our various ministries, and one of them is our ongoing relationship in the Dominican Republic (DR) with our good friend, Father Adolfo Moronta.

As some may remember, Father Adolfo was a graduate student at VTS in 2010-2011, and during that time he got to know several ICOH parishioners. While in Virginia, he assisted with an Hispanic congregation in Fairfax County. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree, he returned to the DR, where he now has parish ministries and teaches at the Seminary in Santo Domingo. Because of a shortage of priests, it is normal in the DR for priests to serve multiple congregations.

Father Adolfo describes his churches this way: 

“I serve three congregations, separated by many miles and each having their individual challenges.

Divina Providencia is located in San Antonio de Guerra which is about 45 minutes away from Santo Domingo. The church in Guerra is the oldest of the three, having been founded more than 25 years ago. The people in Guerra make their living mainly from farming, construction work, and small businesses. Many travel each day to Santo Domingo to work. Since I arrived at Divina Providencia, I have been organizing it by creating all kinds of groups (cleaning, Acolytes, Prayer, Youth, Altar Guild...) The number of people attending has increased considerably since my arrival, and we now have between 60-75 people at our Sunday Eucharist.

De la Gracia located in La Caleta Boca Chica. This is a congregation that had only two members when I came, and now there are 35-45 each Saturday during our weekly Eucharist. I have had to go out and visit people in their homes, have face to face contact with each of them. In this community, I have had the help of the Holy Spirit since I am always celebrating the Eucharist in ways to get people's interest and attention on our congregation.

San Pablo y San Lucas is located in San Isidro about 35 minutes away from Santo Domingo. This is a very lively congregation, and we are building a new church this spring with the help of some parishes from Michigan. There are 55-65 attending each Sunday at our Eucharist, and I predict that once our worship space is finished the amount of people should double.

“The Holy Spirit is at work among my congregations. I know this because I see the revival of the people, with more coming to worship. People have begun to experience changes in their spiritual lives and feel closer to God.”

Immanuel’s Outreach Committee has been sending Father Adolfo a small stipend of $750, which enables him to travel between his congregations. Gas prices in the DR are now over $6 per gallon, which can be prohibitively expensive for keeping in touch with parishioners. Adolfo tells us, “With that assistance, I am able to visit each congregation twice a week. This availability is essential for our congregations to grow and for me to serve the needs of my communicants.”


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