Welcome to the Diocese of Little Rock!
This week we are visiting Hispanic Lay Leader Jaime Torres in the Diocese of Little Rock. Torres is a former gang member and drug dealer who had a radical conversion and now works for the diocese ministering to the “invisible people” who desperately need the Church in their lives. His Fuerza Transformadora movement is focused on inviting young people to give up a life of crime, drugs and violence to return to the Catholic Church for healing, redemption and a positive future.
Through the Hispanic Lay Leadership Initiative, Catholic Extension has contributed more than $70,000 in support of Torres and his programs in Little Rock. With the help of Extension, Torres is now expanding the Fuerza movement to other dioceses including Fresno, California and Yakima, Washington.
Watch the video below to learn more about Jaime Torres' transformative work with at-risk youth.
There are many people who, when a misfortune happens in their lives, seek to blame someone else and say, "It was your fault, or it was their fault." In reality we did not invent this game. It has existed since Adam and Eve when Adam told God, "The woman you gave me as a companion gave me from the tree and I ate," and then Eve blames the serpent. As in these times from our past, we continue "looking for the guilty."
And what happens when a loved one dies like the brother of Martha and Mary? Who do we blame? As God is almighty, many blame Him for the bad things that happen to them. We know that He has the power to do some things and to avoid others, but we also know that He is not responsible for our decisions, "good or bad." We should consider where we are when things happen, because we decide whether we want to be there or not.
God took the time to create everything good and gave us what we need to be happy, but there are things that God does not give, like unbridled sex, addictions, gangs or bad desires. God tells us that when we fulfill our bad desires, there will be consequences. Many of us have made serious mistakes that cause much suffering to family and friends. We cannot blame God for these misfortunes.
And if anyone has lost a loved one, do not look for the guilty. Know that it is a temporary farewell and that hope is only given by Christ, because He is the way, the resurrection and the life and everyone who believes in Him "shall not die" but will live forever.
As we begin the fifth week of Lent, please join us in praying the prayer below. Then share this prayer on Facebook and Twitter to encourage others to do the same.
Jaime Torres has a vital message of faith and hope that at-risk communities need to hear. Catholic Extension supports lay leaders like Jaime who are creating lasting change in poor faith communities by walking in faith with those who otherwise would be forgotten.
This week we ask you to consider donating the cost of a month's worth of streaming entertainment subscriptions to support the essential work of lay leaders in American mission dioceses.