by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
Active for 14 years in the Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Spokane’s Hispanic community, Miguel de la Mora, 50, a member of Pasco’s St. Patrick Parish, recently was named Co-Liaison for Hispanic Charismatic Affairs by Bishop William Skylstad. As such, he will work with Charismatic Renewal Liaison Father Daniel Wetzler to facilitate communication between the Diocese of Spokane and the Charismatic Renewal in the diocese’s Hispanic community. De la Mora will maintain ties with the Hispanic Charismatic communities in Pasco, Othello, Connell, and Walla Walla.
“I have been a member of St. Patrick Parish for more than 30 years,” de la Mora said. “More than 600 people attended the annual Hispanic Charismatic Renewal Congress, in Pasco,” last November. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the diocese in the Charismatic movement.” “Miguel De La Mora’s involvement in Charismatic affairs has been noticeable over the years,” said Father Wetzler, “and Miguel has been the leader of the grupo de oracion, the Hispanic prayer group (in Pasco). He comes highly recommended by members of the Hispanic communities and the priests at St. Patrick Parish. He loves the Lord and the Catholic Church and is sought out for his wisdom.” As co-liaison, de la Mora will be communicating with Father Wetzler and Madre Kuhle, the other Co-Liaison, “helping to coordinate the Hispanic Charismatic happenings throughout the Diocese of Spokane. We are thrilled to have this appointment and are confident Miguel is the right person for this role in the church.”
About 14 years ago, in Mexico, De la Mora bought a Bible. Soon after that he decided to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that was being organized. “I paid (for) my trip in advance,” he said, “but before taking the trip I attended my first Charismatic congress in my parish, St. Patrick, in Pasco.”
The week following the Charismatic congress, Miguel was invited to attend a Cursillo – a weekend retreat offered by the local Cursillo group, which is part of an international spiritual renewal movement. “I remember it very well,” he said, “because it ended on a Sunday, and the next Monday I had to leave for the Holy Land.”
On the pilgrimage, everything began to fall into place for him, spiritually speaking. “The Lord had prepared my soul for a wonderful experience with him in Nazareth,” he said. “After celebrating the Eucharist in Nazareth, we were given time to meditate on our lives, and all of a sudden I began to cry. I cried because I realized that I was not worthy to be there before the Lord. It was an overwhelming experience; I do not think I have words to express what I felt at that moment, but ... it was there where he revealed himself to me, and for the first time in my life I realized who I was, too, a human being blessed and loved by God.”
“I felt closer to God, and prayer became an important ingredient in my life,” he said. “I (have) prayed with confidence ever since, and God answers my prayers in different ways. After all these experiences, I handed my life over to the Lord, and I have worked with the Cursillos and the (Charismatic) prayer group from 2005-2009.”
De la Mora freely describes the impact of the spiritual renewal he experienced on his personal and family life. “In my family,” he said, “I have been able to give testimony of a change in my life; some of my past habits had to give way to new forms of behavior, including my language. Even the language I use to communicate every day has something to do with the presence of the Spirit within me. If I talk badly, I know God is not with me. Words have power. They can make a difference in one’s life.
“My family and I have learned to discern the will of God and to trust in him at every moment and in any given situation,” he said. “My family is very active in the church; we all do something else besides attending Sunday Mass.”
In addition to his leadership in the Renewal, de la Mora serves on St. Patrick’s Pastoral Council.
De la Mora says that his Catholic faith has become much deeper and more active.
“Now I pay attention to the needs of the people,” he said, “especially in our community. I have asked God to give me the spirit to discern how to help people the way he wants me to, a spirit of understanding to see clearly where a person needs help in his or her life.”
Looking forward to his new leadership role as Co-Liaison for Hispanic Charismatic Affairs, de la Mora said that he wants to “find ways to (help) others to serve the Lord better. I want to say thanks to all the people who have helped me to be where I am now, (and) in a special way (I want to thank) all the priests who have served or are serving in Pasco, (and in) the prayer group… I am grateful to Arnoldo, Ricardo, (and) Simona, because their support is very much needed. Thanks to them, we have a strong intercessory prayer group in our community. Also, a special thanks to Msgr. Pedro Ramírez,” a former pastor of St. Patrick, “who supported us during his years with us.”