Barcelona, Catalonia, is a bucket-list locale that boasts some of the world’s most famous architecture, beaches, and cuisine. Now it’s also home to the newest language edition of The Upper Room daily devotional guide: Catalan!
Early last year, Upper Room Ministries received a business plan from(CEC-Masvidal) to publish The Upper Room in Catalan. CEC-Masvidal is an interdenominational missionary organization that’s headquartered in Barcelona.
Catalan is the official language of Catalonia, an autonomous region in northeastern Spain with Barcelona as its capital. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are over 8 million Catalan speakers in Spain.
The Catalan linguistic area (See map): Catalonia (1), the Balearic Islands (2), Andorra (3), the city of Alghero (4), Northern Catalonia (5), and in the Aragon Strip (6); its variant, Valencian, is spoken in the Valencian Community (7) and Carxe (8). (Source: CEC-Masvidal)
In their business plan, CEC-Masvidal wrote that Protestant communities within the Catalan-speaking territories currently lack resources for sharing and developing faith, especially in their own language.
The Upper Room has never been translated into Catalan, but starting January 2019 people can purchase El Cenacle, the Catalan edition, in five formats: mobile application (Android), digital (online), email (PDF), audio/ MP3, and print.
“I have known about The Upper Room since childhood,” Alícia Pallàs, president of CEC-Masvidal and chief editor of El Cenacle, wrote in an email. “As a young girl, reading the devotional [in Spanish] felt like looking through a window into the world with a faith focus.”
Pallàs is one of five people that make up the El Cenacle publishing team, which includes personnel for editing and translation, graphic design, marketing and sales, information technology, and administration.
Enric Ainsa, a missionary with CEC-Masvidal and chief technology and marketing officer for El Cenacle, knows that testimonies and storytelling are important aspects of sharing faith, particularly within the Protestant-Catalan community, which is why he and the team pursued the idea of publishing The Upper Room in Catalan.
“Most of the stories [in The Upper Room] are everyday situations that readers can connect with,” Ainsa wrote in an email. “When readers are able to connect with the experience shared, then they can see God at work in the world and in their lives.”
Chief Editor Pallàs hopes that El Cenacle helps people grow closer to Christ, become more familiar with the Bible, and develop a daily habit of study and prayer.
CEC-Masvidal’s goal is for the Catalan edition to be viable and sustainable in three years’ time by introducing El Cenacle to Evangelical and Protestant churches and communities through networking and in-person visits, social media marketing, advertising in religious publications (digital and print), promotional mailings and offers, and distribution in Christian bookstores.
“We must open our hands, full of the seeds of faith, so that the Holy Spirit — like a blowing wind — can spread them wherever God pleases,” Ainsa wrote.
For more information about El Cenacle and how to subscribe, please visitor email the local publishing team at . You may also contact Upper Room Customer Care toll-free at (877) 899-2780 ext. 1740 or at .
Tia Runion serves as the Director of International Relations, Europe & Global Contracts Manager for The Upper Room daily devotional guide.
Pastor Harold Stinson was given The Upper Room as a child by his mother. He is now 71 years old and still reads the devotional guide every day but now in large print. He also hosts a daily prayer call and uses the scripture from the meditation as the basis for that call.