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Rome Reports

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Final stretch toward “Fifth Encounter,” meeting of bishops and Hispanics in U.S.


In September 2016, the U.S. Hispanic bishops came to Rome to present the Fifth Encounter. It involves a series of meetings that began in January 2017 in which Hispanics in the U.S. reflected on their contribution to the Catholic Church. 

It's now in its final stretch, given that the National Encounter will be celebrated near Dallas from September 23 to 25. 

MSGR. GUSTAVO GARCÍA-SILLER
Archbishop 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.”

To spread awareness of the event's keys and possible outcomes, Palabra magazine has prepared a lengthy dossier. The publication's director explains they closely follow current Catholicism, but look to analyze and expand on especially significant events. Thus, they focused on the Fifth Encounter. 

ALFONSO RIOBÓ
Director, “Palabra”
“It's a long, but important and intense process that the U.S. Bishops have set in motion to identify Hispanics' priorities and aim to respond to them. In fact, the Latin world in the U.S. is potentially truly magnificent. They contribute, firstly, from a Catholic Church standpoint, their faith. A goal, a challenge for the future, is for it to not only be a cultural faith, but also a hereditary one.”

The Fifth Encounter is a process of listening, of transformation and of pastoral proposal, seeking to revitalize relationships between the Catholic Church and Hispanics in the U.S. The idea is for every Catholic to be aware of his or her own responsibility and live the faith first-hand. 

Forty percent of U.S. Catholics are Hispanics, and 60 percent of them are under the age of 18. Thus, the Church must learn their priorities, and they must know their place in the Church.