One of the most beautiful things about the Catholic faith is how it is truly universal, reaching out to all communities, languages, and cultures. Here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Hispanic Committee brings the Spanish-speaking members of our community together, both to practice their faith and to celebrate their culture and traditions while sharing them with the wider parish community.
“Hispanics are people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race,” says ministry leader Marina Medina. “The City of Palm Coast has had a Hispanic population since its establishment in 1975, and the 2020 U.S. census reported 14,444 Hispanics living within city limits. A standing committee was formed in 2021 to better serve the Hispanic community at the parish by improving communication and fostering more collaboration between the 15 active ministries in the parish.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has had Masses celebrated in Spanish for over 25 years, and today, about 200 people on average attend the 5 p.m. Spanish Mass on Sundays. Over the past several years, sacramental life for the Hispanic community has also grown.
“Weekly scheduled confessions, marriages, funerals, and baptisms are now regularly offered in Spanish,” Marina says. “Catechesis for parents of Religious Education students, Adult Christian Formation, and RCIA are also now offered in Spanish.”
Hispanic Catholics commemorate many Marian feasts and other devotions particular to Latin America throughout the year, and the Hispanic Committee at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton organizes regular celebrations of these special feast days. These include Our Lady of Guadalupe of México, Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá of Colombia, Nuestra Señora del Cobre of Cuba, Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia of Puerto Rico, Nuestra Señora de la Alta Gracia of the Dominican Republic, El Señor de los Milagros of Perú, and Los Reyes Magos for Puerto Ricans.
“Multicultural events enrich the whole parish, both socially and spiritually,” Marina says. “Learning and participating in the spirituality and religious customs from other cultures serves to better value the universality of our faith and the unity of the Catholic Church. Along with Hispanics, Portuguese, Filipinos, Brazilians, Haitians, Poles, Slovakians, and many others, we make up the multicultural tapestry of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.”
Since the committee began, the parish’s Spanish Mass attendance has increased, and the practice of the sacraments has grown among the Hispanic community.
For more information about the Hispanic ministries at the parish, contact Marina Medina or Fr. Rob Trujillo — both can be reached at the parish office at 386-445-2246.