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Upon entering the Spanish Mass at St. Dominic’s, our mood changed. As we closed our eyes, listened to loud and unapologetic tenors belt old Mexican Catholic folk songs, and saw young parents sway together holding newborn babies who cried out every so often, we could sense a visceral, almost palpable, raw spirituality. As we stood, sat, knelt, and sang together, this informal yet devout atmosphere captivated our hearts and our minds.
Two congregants, Lucy González and Lucy Velázquez, reflect on the development of their personal spirituality:
González: Many years ago when I was a teenager, when I was young, we began to believe, deep in our hearts. There was this spirituality since we were very young. So, when you believe in God, you are creating this spirituality; there is this light. And now we have to plant this light in others. We are working with youth to develop this same spirituality. It’s amazing because miracles exist, mis hijos [my children]… Even though many people encounter danger, not danger specifically, but difficult situations, God doesn’t abandon us. When bad things happen, God holds on to us tighter. Through prayers, God is always there. He doesn’t abandon us.
Velázquez: We don’t see him, but we feel the trust. We trust that he will protect us.
González: Because this is the house of God: in the most profound parts of our heart. We are the church. The temple is where we come to pray. But inside of ourselves, we are the church. So we have to protect ourselves, we have to take care of ourselves because we are the temple.
Velázquez: The angels bring our petitions to God... and God always hears our prayers. 1
Lucy Gonzalez, Lucy Velazquez, interviewed by Sarah Goldman, May 29, 2014.↩