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ROSLINDALE -- Almost two decades ago, Alfredo and Lucy Torrejon made a decision that has come to shape their lives. With three young daughters in tow, the couple decided to become parishioners at Sacred Heart in Roslindale.
“At first we became parishioners there mainly because we wanted to bring our daughters to a good school, and so we decided to become a part of the parish,” explained Lucy Torrejon.
Not long after the family began worshipping at Sacred Heart, Torrejon became involved in parish activities. There was only one problem -- everything was in English.
Torrejon, who was born in New Jersey but was raised in Puerto Rico, had always worshipped in Spanish. And although she could speak fluent English, she felt there was something missing.
“Even though I speak English, my faith is in Spanish,” Torrejon said.
“The mystery of Jesus’ love, the importance of the Church, all of this is so powerful, I just knew I had to pass this to my daughters,” she said.
“My faith is what keeps me alive,” she said, and she wanted to transmit this conviction to her daughters as well.
Convinced she wasn’t alone in yearning for a Spanish-language Mass in her parish, Torrejon sought the help of her husband, her parents and four siblings. Together, they began working to develop a Spanish-language Mass at Sacred Heart.
Fifteen years ago, they got their wish.
“It was like a dream come true,” she said.
“[The Spanish Mass] began rather small,” she recalled, “but now the Masses are sometimes standing-room only, especially if it’s a special occasion.”
Torrejon believes this is due in part to the large Hispanic community that lives within the parish.
At first, she said, she was involved in a wide variety of parish activities, such as the annual Passion play. However, as more parishioners stepped forward to lead parish activities, Torrejon turned her focus to the Spanish-language choir -- which she still coordinates today.
Torrejon, 50, said she feels called to remain active in the Hispanic community, in part because she believes the faith in the Hispanic community needs to be nurtured.
“I try to keep the faith growing in our community,” she said.
“Faith is not something visible, but it is what carries you through this life, supporting you at all times,” she said.
“I have faith that even though there are bad things in the world, that God exists,” she said. “And that something good always comes out of something bad.”