Lenten Revival at Holy Cross in the Bronx: Day 22

| 03/16/2023

By: Armando Machado

The gathering began on Ash Wednesday 

Fr. Vincent Druding leads the people during Praise and Worship on the evening of Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
Fr. Vincent Druding leads the people during Praise and Worship on the evening of Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Photo by Armando Machado/The Good Newsroom.

Lucas Montecel was among the faithful at Holy Cross parish the evening of Day 22 of the “Jesus in Zion” praise and worship gathering in the Bronx. He was there, accompanied by his wife Aida, to pray for his ailing mother who was recently hospitalized. 

“She has cancer, she is very sick. I’m here for her, and for other reasons,” Montecel, 53 and father of three, told The Good Newsroom as he sat with Aida amid the rear pews.              

“This is my third time here. I was here twice in the last days of February…I didn’t know that it would be so beautiful, this revival. I found peace. It is very spiritual, very strong. Various people began speaking in tongues. It has reinforced my faith. It has been a blessing. They said they’re going to keep it going as long as they can. This is what the people need; this is what the community needs. With all the things happening in the world, people are looking for God.”  

Montecel is a Holy Cross parishioner. He spoke with The Good Newsroom shortly after several women near the altar area before the Blessed Sacrament led the people in praying the Rosary in Spanish.   

Later in the evening, the Mass homilist, Holy Cross Deacon James “Jaime” Bello, spoke of the relevance of the story of “Beauty and the Beast. The message was: we all have a beast inside of us, we must change that inner beast into spiritual beauty, with the light of Christ, trusting in God, guided by the Holy Spirit.   

“Could it be that the seeds of beauty lie within the beast?” Deacon Bello said to the more than 300 men, women, and children in the pews. “Could it be that it is calling each and every one of us to convert, to change our sinful ways, sometimes our beastly ways?”  

He said that in the Bible, Christ “becomes the beast so that the beast can become the beauty. Jesus changes places with us. That’s how much God loves us…Jesus died so that we might live…The Beauty did come, and the Beauty did care. Sometimes the beast in us comes out and we fail to see the beauty that lies within us, and the beauty that lies before us…Let us continue to turn to God as one family.”

The principal celebrant of the Mass was Father Vincent Druding, parochial vicar at Holy Cross, who passionately led all in praise and worship before the liturgy, with musical accompaniment by Agnus Dei Ministry, based in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“We’re here tonight as a family, united as a family,” Father Druding said during praise and worship, speaking and praying in English and Spanish. “Jesus feels the pain; the pain of people feeling separated from their families, their loved ones…And I’m just going to use, somehow, this moment of being united as a family in Him, to heal some hearts here tonight. God’s going to do something for you tonight…Jesus, take us to heaven. There are hearts that need to be healed. Let us praise the Lord…We praise you, Lord. We came here to praise Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. The Lord can heal through His name.”  

Before the Mass started, Ana Infante, 61, shared with The Good Newsroom that she was there to pray for the wellbeing of her family. “This is a wonderful event; it is incredible, and it has not stopped,” the single mother of three said as she waited for Mass amid the front pews. “It is filled with the Holy Spirit; all who come here feel the presence. We must be grateful to God every day.” Ms. Infante is a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Manhattan.

“Many people have received the gift of tongues during this revival,” noting that he sometimes prays in tongues. “People can pray, praise, or sing in tongues,” Father Druding later told The Good Newsroom.

The praise and worship Perpetual Adoration event is being conducted in English and Spanish and has featured live music. It has included Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praying of the Rosary, confessions, fellowship, the Stations of the Cross, Mass celebrations, healing services, and lots of music. Hundreds of people have attended each night.                                                                    

The gathering is being live-streamed via the Holy Cross parish YouTube channel: Catholic Soundview.  Holy Cross Church is located at 600 Soundview Ave., the Bronx.

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