Agents of change

Arturo Rodriguez and Gina Villarreal are parishioners at St. Paul Catholic Church in Olathe. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

Gina Villarreal

Age: 43 

Parish: St. Paul, Olathe

Occupation: Housewife 

What’s in your toolkit? Easily interacts with others, responsible 

What is your Catholic superpower? Desire to continue growing in the spiritual life through studies, prayers and constancy in the faith

Arturo Rodriguez

Age: 43

Parish: St. Paul, Olathe

Occupation: Project manager

What’s in your toolkit? Experienced in technology needed for reports and presentations 

What is your Catholic superpower? Desire to continue growing in the spiritual life through studies, prayers and constancy in the faith

Before the convocation

Gina and her husband Arturo were entrusted by their parish to participate in the 2019 “Enflame Our Hearts” convocation.

And, unknowingly, they have been preparing for this moment their whole lives.

“We have been Catholic since we were born,” said Gina, “and we strongly believe it is Christ who has put us on this path.”

Gina and Arturo will call upon their experience participating in the V Encuentro process — a national pastoral plan for Hispanic ministry — as they approach the convocation. They are ready to be agents of change.

The couple has identified three main challenges they will confront during the convocation: bringing inactive Catholic families closer to the parish; going out into the community and performing acts of service; and starting a new pastoral family ministry that will specifically walk with new families.

And Gina and Arturo are excited for the chance to face these challenges head-on after the convocation.

“[We feel] energized [in] fighting because of our hope in God,” said Gina.

After the convocation 

What are the top three things you’d like to see done at your parish in regard to evangelization?

1) A plan that could get more people from our current members of the parish involved/active

2) Recognize the need to go out (within the boundaries of the parish) and invite other brothers and sisters to be part of Jesus’ life

3) Recognize the need to support current married couples in order to [help them have] a successful marriage

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