I was invited to the National Convocation of Emerging Catholic Leadership in the U.S. Hispanic Ministry, from July 29-31, 2013 convened by Hosffman Ospino from Boston College. This invitation I see as recognition of the need of our institute’s mission in the church.
In his invitation Hosffman stated “We are convinced that this is a unique opportunity to bring to the conversation the great work that the Congar Institute for Ministry Development is advancing, particularly via its programs of formation and outreach serving Hispanic Catholics”.
Hosffman went on to say “The goal of this important and very unique convocation is to learn more about current projects that are bound to transform the way in which Hispanic ministry is done. Such projects are real signs of energy and hope for a Church in transformation. Nearly 43% of all Catholics in the country are Hispanic (55% under the age of eighteen are so!). Consequently, Catholic institutions and organizations are facing the growing need to strategize better in mentoring and supporting a new generation of pastoral leaders working with this community. In many parts of the country to speak of Hispanic ministry is simply to speak of Catholic ministry as a whole”.
Hosffman continued…”At this convocation we seek to lay some foundations to identify and develop networks of support for an emerging generation of voices that most likely will shape key conversations at the national level about Catholic Hispanic ministry in the United States”
The network and the sharing of ideas during our time outside the sessions were as enriching as the presentations themselves. The individual encounters allowed participants to discover how much in common we all had: led by the Spirit to serve the church, strong in faith and hope as we all face challenges, and all of us had a sense of joy in what we do. We all left with a promise to become more collaborative among ourselves and among all others serving the church.
Early on, since the foundation of the Congar Institute, our sense of collaboration and “pastoral de conjunto” has inspired what we do.