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Hispanic bishops of the United States present the fifth “Encuentro” in the Vatican

2016-09-26

Three of the 27 Hispanic bishops of the United States traveled to the Vatican to present the fifth "Encuentro,” a 4-year program that aims to revamp the relationship between Hispanics and the Catholic Church.

The process will start in January, when thousands of Hispanics will be meeting in churches across the United States to reflect and to participate in the "new evangelization.”

These meetings will then be held at a regional and national level, in order to work out a strategy for the Church to involve the 55-million strong Hispanic community more effectively. 

ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ GÓMEZ
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"The involvement of Hispanics and all American Catholics in society is impressive. What we need is to make those activities they take part in better known.

ARCHBISHOP GUSTAVO GARCÍA-SILLER
Archdiocese of San Antonio 
"In this moment in history we have a crucial role, and we want to give our all, in the spirit of faith, hope and love...

BISHOP ARTURO CEPEDA
Archdiocese of Detroit
"We want the opportunity to assert ourselves as a people, as a community in the United States, a Catholic Hispanic community. That is precisely why this project was born.

They came to Rome with fifteen other members of the Hispanic ministry in the United States, and their greatest wish is to be able to explain the project to the pope in person. 

ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ GÓMEZ
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"We hope we have the opportunity to share this iniative with the Holy Father, and to ask him for his blessing and, especially, that he bless our cross, which we have with us in all the meetings, that will travel around the United States until 2018, when the national conference will be held.
 
ARCHBISHOP GUSTAVO GARCÍA-SILLER
Archdiocese of San Antonio 
"The challenges are that the world is moving at a very fast rate. That many things are changing. That we haven't interacted with the second, third and fourth generation. Hispanics are still coming, migration is alive, but 92 percent of the community is born there. How are we supposed to have an open conversation with them?

BISHOP ARTURO CEPEDA
Archdiocese of Detroit
"People that haven't had the chance to be in this process might see it as an opportunity to talk, a platform we are offering for them to identify as members of the Catholic Church and also as Hispanics that have the tools to change society and the Catholic Church.

The first "Encuentro” was held in 1972. There have been four others since, and they have changed the way the Church interacts with the Hispanic community and how Hispanics participate in the life of the Church.

The meetings are also a way of strengthening ties amongst Hispanics and also to connect with other communities in a country where racism and discrimination against immigrants has resurfaced.

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