Text and photos by Gregory A. Shemitz
Hot, steamy weather did not suppress the festive spirit of the some 300 people attending the annual Labor Day Encuentro gathering on Sept. 3 at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington. The event, which is sponsored by the diocese’s Office of Hispanic Ministry, provides an opportunity for Latino youth and young adults from parishes across Long Island to gather and celebrate their faith and heritage.
Bishop John Barres opened the day by concelebrating, with 20 priests, a Spanish-language Mass in the seminary chapel. Deacon Robert Polanco, director of the Hispanic Ministry office, was among the three deacons assisting at the service. Following Mass, participants assembled in the picnic area behind the building, where they dined on barbecued meats and a variety of ethnic foods. Attendees also enjoyed some friendly athletic competition as they played soccer, volleyball, basketball and horseshoes.
Bishop Barres chats with people before Mass.
Clergy process at the beginning of Mass.
Singers and musicians lead the congregation in song.
The seminary chapel is filled to capacity during the liturgy.
Bishop Barres is joined at the altar by Deacon Robert Polanco and Father Edward Sheridan, pastor of St. Rosalie Church, Hampton Bays. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Brennan is partially hidden.
Participants in the choir loft recite the Lord's Prayer.
Bishop Barres and Father Sheridan distribute Communion.
Eva Larrea of St. Anne Church, Brentwood, kneels in prayer.
Worshipers unite in prayer.
Deacon Francisco Cales of the diocesan New Evangelization Office addresses the congregation at the end of Mass.
Altar servers lead the closing procession.
Participants play instruments and sing in the picnic area.
Julio Vasquez, left, and Orlando Ajcuc, both of St. John the Evangelist Church, Riverhead, enjoy lunch.
Julio Chicas and Anna Amaya, both of St. John of God Church, Central Islip, grill cheeseburgers.
Father Carlos Urrego of Our Holy Redeemer Church, Freeport, dines with fellow parishioners.
Jose Orellana competes in a game of horseshoes as Edy Cardona, left, and Alvaro Lorenzana look on.
Auxiliary Bishop Robert Brennan enjoys a relaxing conversation with parishioners of St. Frances Cabrini Church, Coram.
Isaac Palencia of St. Mary Church, Roslyn, and Julia Altamirano of St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington, grill food.
Participants play basketball.
A group from St. John of God Church, Central Islip, poses for a photo.
Participants compete in a game of volleyball.
Daysi Guevara of St. Brigid Church, Westbury, holds her one-year-old son, Christopher, as they rest under a tree.
Participants compete in a game of soccer.