It’s never too late to grow in our relationship with Christ. Through Prayer and Life Workshops, or Talleres de Oración y Vida (TOV), we can explore all the ways in which prayer can transform how we think, pray, and live. By attending a 15-session workshop, which leads participants through various prayer traditions, we can enter into a deeper and more loving experience with God.
“Prayer and Life Workshops are a new form of evangelization, more alive and with a more positive vision than what we’ve always known,” says Paula Caceres, workshop guide and TOV’s Northwest National Coordinator. “In our workshops, we learn by working and work by learning. In the same way, we learn to pray by praying. The workshops are a way to liberate and heal ourselves through coming to know God, a transformation to the light of the Word, and promotion of the values of the Gospel and the sacraments.”
Talleres de Oración y Vida was founded by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga in 1984. Over time, his mission has expanded to over 40 countries as a diocesan ministry. Paula first got involved in 2008, when she attended her first workshop as a way to deepen her prayer life. After two years of formation through the program, she was asked to help establish the ministry here in the Diocese of Sacramento. Today, the diocese has 26 guides who lead workshops at parishes across the diocese.
“We host workshops in both English and Spanish for adults and young adults, and additional workshops in Spanish for teens, children, and married couples,” Paula says. “We also host talks as well as day-long and weekend retreats. At the Cathedral, we had a guide, Virginia Aguilar, offering workshops, talks, and retreats for many years before the pandemic. After the pandemic, we are slowly returning to offering workshops at all the parishes in the diocese. We are hoping to bring a workshop back to the Cathedral soon.”
The ministry divides each year into two semesters and begins all the workshops in the diocese at the same time — either on the last week of January or the first week of February, and on the last week of July or the first week of August.
“The program takes place over 15 sessions, once a week for two hours,” Paula says. “This culminates in a four-hour retreat at a retreat house or park. A guide leads each session using a manual, as well as some recordings from our founder that relate to the central theme of each session. During each session, we learn and practice a new form of prayer. Throughout the week in between sessions, participants practice that form of prayer for 30 minutes each day, and also read a Scripture passage chosen for each day.”
By attending these workshops, participants can enrich their spiritual lives and grow together with their families and the parish community. By growing in our relationship with Christ, we can positively impact everyone around us.
“The central axis of our workshops is personal and daily prayer with abandonment, a liberating combination with deep spiritual fruits,” Paula says. “After our workshops, we see many Catholics return to the sacraments and discover vocations for different ministries. By getting to know Jesus, we also grow closer in love to our brothers and sisters in Christ — especially when we ask ourselves, ‘What would Jesus do?’
“The workshops contribute to the unity and strengthening of both the individual and the family, making both the Church and community a better place,” she adds. “The ministry helps its participants to grow spiritually through an encounter with Jesus in personal prayer, which is necessary for any Christian and true servant.”
For more information about Prayer and Life Workshops, contact Paula Caceres at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.