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 Beginning Dec. 21 the ministry will be expanding its outreach by holding a bilingual Mass every third Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, San Bernardino.

 The leaders of the ministry saw a need to begin offering the Mass in both languages, since many families would bring children or other family members who don’t speak or understand Spanish well. Upon reflection, the ministry felt it would be important to include the English speaking community as well.

 “For us it sounds like a good idea,” Zelaya Saravia said. “The Church opened its doors to us when we needed them, now we are opening our hearts to those who don’t speak Spanish. We know that there are many people out there that could be looking for something like this, but don’t speak Spanish.”

  "I see the love that the families show to each other and it is just incredible," Dcn. Brenes-Rios said. "I didn't expect that. Now whenever I see someone with a special needs child, I ask them if they go to Mass and I invite them to come and to have their children receive the sacrament."

 Now that the monthly Mass will be bilingual, more volunteers will be needed. Dcn. Brenes-Rios hopes once word gets out, the volunteers will come. 

 Over the years there has been growth in the amount of people who come to help support the ministry. A youth group helps in retreats and sacramental preparation. The ministry assists families in preparing their children to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. Having a Mass offers them the opportunity to worship in community.

 Invitations have been sent out to all the priests and deacons, asking them to promote the monthly Masses. Deacon Luis Sanchez, interim chaplain for Amigos Unidos, hopes news of the bilingual Mass will reach members of the community who may benefit.

 “The ideal would be for each parish to be accepting of the children with special needs, but that is not the reality,” Dcn. Sanchez said. “As the Church, we need to care for them. Their lives also need to be filled with hope.”