We have been witnesses of the Pastoral Hispana de Conjunto a la Luz de la Nueva Evangelización!
Congar Institute is an active member of the three national Hispanic organizations, Federación de Institutos Pastorales (FIP), The National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM), and The National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM) that planned and organized this joint national meeting in August 26-28, 2013 in Las Vegas. It was a success not just because the number of participants was higher than expected, but because of the enthusiasm, collaboration, fraternity and openness to the Spirit that we all experienced as participants.
Our conference’s goal was to identify the strengths and challenges of our organizations, and to find ways to collaborate among each other to respond to the call of the New Evangelization. We followed the methodology of Theological Reflection for our process with the guidance of the following presenters.
Maria del Mar Muñoz-Visoso, Executive Director of the Secretariat of Cultural Divesity at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), set the stage with a historic review of the Hispanic Pastoral Ministry in the U.S. during the past ten years, and how this ministry has advanced the National Hispanic Pastoral Plan and subsequent documents such as Encuentro and Mission. This is who we ARE today! Our question is, what are the strengths and challenges of our associations today?
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S. spelled out the reality for us to SEE the Hispanic faith community challenges in light of the vision of our church. He said that our culture and language are important, but more important is to become bilingual and learn intercultural competencies; we exist for the mission; we need to take care of those that live in the margins of society; we need to live out “pastoral de conjunto;” Christ is our center; and the New Evangelization begins within our own lives. We need religious formation, dialogue not just communication, and to develop an ecclesiology of communion.
Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid helped us enlighten the way to JUDGE/DISCERN where our organizations are at this time. She directed us to documents from Vatican II such as Evangeli Nuntiandi that are foundational for the New Evangelization. The process of discernment is a gift from the Spirit and it is a progressive reality (Lc.4), she stated.
Finally, Fr. Bruce Nielli, C.S.P. with a wonderful sense of humor, shared with us a number of examples from his experience doing ministry, to help us put into action our faith, hope and charity. He invited us not to hesitate at the opportunities to serve that life presents to us as individuals and as communities of faith.
We have been witnesses of how the Spirit is leading us to the New Evangelization in our church with Pastoral de Conjunto!
Click here to view pictures of the event. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.605013692868568.1073741834.159000664136542&type=3&uploaded=23