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Francisco Mejia, left, his brother Juan, right, and their cousin Venancio Mejia, all members of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont, perform at last year’s Hispanic Congress in Omaha as part of the band Iluminacion Divina. Music also will be part of this year’s congress July 28-29 at Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha. PHOTO BY JOE RUFF/STAFF

Hispanic Congress to celebrate faith, family

Meeting together as one family, united and growing in faith.
 
That’s the goal of the third annual Hispanic Congress, which for the second year features separate programs for adults and youth. There will be music, speakers, prayer and other programs in Spanish for adults and in Spanish and English for youth, said Deacon Gregorio Elizalde, manager of the archdiocese’s Latino Ministry Office, which is sponsoring the July 28-29 event in Omaha.
 
More than 700 adults and 350 young people attended last year’s congress. The goal is to attract even more to this year’s event at Roncalli Catholic High School, Deacon Elizalde said.
 
“We are trying to reach the whole family,” he said. “I’ve heard parents say, ‘I’d like to have my kids come but it may be too old for them, so now there’s something for youth and something for adults. And child care is available for young children so the whole family can come.”
 
Doors will open both days at 7 a.m., with music at 7:30 a.m.
 
An 8 a.m. Mass for youth and adults will open the conference, celebrated by Father Scott Hastings, vicar for clergy and judicial vicar for the archdiocese. The two age groups also will close the congress together, at a 3 p.m. Mass July 29, with Archbishop George J. Lucas presiding.
 
People at past congresses have appreciated the attention the church has given them, having time with their Catholic brothers and sisters from other parishes, and time with Archbishop Lucas, Deacon Elizalde said.
 
“There’s always a very long line to greet the archbishop,” he said. 
 

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