Bishop Joseph Espaillat, in Charismatic Renewal Style, Addresses the NYS Eucharistic Congress

| 10/24/2023

By: Armando Machado

“The Lord reminds us: do not be afraid, because I am with you”

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph A. Espaillat of the Archdiocese of New York speaks to the faithful during the NYS Eucharistic Congress, Saturday, October 21, 2023.
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph A. Espaillat of the Archdiocese of New York speaks to the faithful during the NYS Eucharistic Congress, Saturday, October 21, 2023. Photo by Jeffrey Bruno.

Archdiocese of New York Auxiliary Bishop Joseph A. Espaillat II spoke to the faithful at the New York State Eucharistic Congress about the special significance of the Holy Eucharist, noting, “The Lord reminds us: do not be afraid, because I am with you.” 

 Bishop Espaillat, whose ancestry is from the Dominican Republic, addressed the pilgrims in Spanish with simultaneous translation. His talk was on: “Adoration: Fulfilling Our Vocation to Love” (Adoración: Cumpliendo Nuestra Vocación de Amor).

The gathering was held from Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville.              

“We are here, brothers and sisters, walking in the footsteps of the saints (the site’s martyrs),” Bishop Espaillat, 46, said during his Saturday morning talk, delivered in his signature Charismatic style. “You and I are here now where men died for the faith; this place is extremely important.” He noted that he attended a spiritual retreat at the Shrine when he was 18 years old.      

“Adoration is completing our vocation of love,” Bishop Espaillat said, instructing the faithful to repeat, “All that I do has a purpose – all that I do has a purpose.” And he added, “Things are not that difficult; we are the ones who complicate the situation.” He noted the significance of ignoring the deceits of the Devil, “who is a liar,” and seeking the graces of God, the teachings of the faith, such as the lessons in the Catechism of the Church. He cited verses from the Bible and parts of the Catechism to make his points.

“Brothers and sisters, how many people, how many youths today, live a life that is disorganized and without purpose?” the bishop said. “There are many people who live lives that are disorganized and without purpose…And so I would like to propose that our purpose here on Earth is to adore and praise the Lord! Amen?” 

“Amen!” the many faithful responded – and they repeated after him, “My purpose is to adore and praise the Lord – my purpose is to adore and praise the Lord.”

Bishop Espaillat went on to talk about the main reasons for the three-day gathering: the Holy Eucharist, serving God, being in communion with God – the Real Presence of Jesus, “the center of our faith.” 

“The Lord reminds us: do not be afraid, because I am with you,” the bishop noted, citing the importance of praying to the Lord and receiving the Eucharist. “A human being without God is equivalent to a fish out of water…We must have faith – and it must be faith that is organized. It is not enough to believe in God; you must believe, accept, and respond.”  

“The Eucharist is the sacrament of love: It signifies love, it produces love,” Bishop Espaillat quoted Saint Thomas of Aquinas, noting the five forms of Catholic prayers: blessing and adoration; petition; intercession; thanksgiving; and praise. Before and after Bishop Espaillat’s presentation, a choir from the Sisters of Life provided the faithful with soft inspirational sounds of praise and worship – hymns sung in English and Spanish. 

Luis Guaman, 39, a parishioner of St. Raymond Church in the Bronx, was among the attendees listening to Bishop Espaillat, along with his wife and three children.  

“The bishop’s words were perfect – he spoke the truth. We must carry on,” Guaman, born and raised in Ecuador, told The Good Newsroom in Spanish after Bishop Espaillat’s presentation. “His message was beautiful; we must rely on the Lord. The Eucharist is very important.”

Guaman said he was also grateful for the bishop’s focus on the importance of adoration and praise, noting that he and his wife brought their children to the gathering “so that they would learn more about the Church, the Word of God – and carry on the faith.”

Bishop Espaillat serves as Episcopal Vicar of the Bronx where he is pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church. Before being ordained a bishop on March 1, 2022, he was the director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Center in the Bronx and the spiritual director of the Hispanic Charismatic Renewal of the archdiocese. 

In 2012, Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked him to establish the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to priestly ordination, Bishop Espaillat obtained a Master of Divinity degree in theology and a Master of Arts degree in theology (specializing in church history) from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers.  

After God, Bishop Espaillat’s passion has been working with young people and helping them encounter Christ. He is the founder of the ministry Messengers of Christ.

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