From putting materials together, helping with seating charts, loading the truck with equipment and setting up at the convention, these were a few of the numerous tasks the staff of the Diocese of Fresno worked on for the 2011 Bishop Steinbock Hispanic Ministry Convocation (HMC). I had a firsthand experience of how to put together an event and how to make it a success. However, the experience that I gained as a person was much greater. This was more than an internship opportunity, the Diocese of Fresno welcomed me and made me feel as if I had been there forever, and this made me feel as part of their family. I am a Child Development major at CSU Fresno, but after the HMC, I realized my interest in Hispanic Ministry, and by multiple people, was encouraged to think about an M.A in Theology. I fell in love with the participants, speakers, and staff, and realized that even though Hispanics have such a wide diversity, we all have the same needs, dilemmas, and solutions. The ministry is there to help people, help acknowledge a problem, and find a solution, to guide and listen, and most importantly to be the support that most people do not have. If I had the opportunity to do this all over again I would, because there is no greater satisfaction than knowing you form part of team that has a helping mission.
Cristal Juarez is a junior at Fresno State University majoring in Child Development. Currently she is the coordinator for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Youth Group in Hanford, CA. She interned during the spring semester as the Speaker Coordinator of the 2011 Bishop Steinbock Hispanic Ministry Convocation.