I have been invited by USCCB’s Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs to represent FIP (Federacion de Institutos Pastorales) as part of the team of Accompaniment for the National V Encuentro for ministry among Hispanics / Latinos. We at the Congar Institute are grateful and honored by the FIP Board for this representation that will benefit all FIP membership and the church.
Our first meeting took place in Baltimore on February 27, 2014 with approximately twenty seven participants representing pastoral leadership from different lay ministries in the US. The purpose of this first meeting was to get to know each other as members of ENAVE, to pray together, to be informed about the why of the V Encuentro, a brief history of past Encuentros and to work together to identify the:
Timeline for the process
Place and dates for the national event
Assign Teams’ Captains (Committees’ Chairs) and those that will work in those teams.
Some facts about the V Encuentro:
- What is the V Encuentro?
The V Encuentro is a three-year process of pastoral-theological reflection culminating in a national event in the summer of 2016.
- Why a V Encuentro now?
After twenty-five years of remarkable growth in Hispanic Ministry, and the emergence of thousands of new leaders in the church including bishops, priests, religious men and women, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers, it is of great importance to engage again in a process of Encuentro.
We anticipate the V Encuentro to be a formation and leadership development process.
This V Encuentro is convened at a time when ministry among Hispanics/Latinos appears to have been “weakened,” amid economic crisis, restructuring, and the reemergence of anti-immigrant sentiments that dominated the airwaves over the past ten years. As a result, the vision and enthusiasm for Hispanic/Latino ministry has not been communicated with the same clarity and consistency to an entire generation of new leaders in the church, both lay and ordained.
All participants in ENAVE bring their pastoral experience and expertise to the table as well as their organization’s mission and vision. We at the Congar Institute in partnership with FIP come with our missions to make available excellent pastoral lay formation programs to all members of our church, especially to those that have not yet be reached-out in our diocesan communities, many times due to lack of human experts and financial resources.
We believe that through collaboration among communities, those resources may be made available to those that need them by means of generous contributions and local creativity. At the Congar Institute we are grateful to the religious communities and to lay people that provide us with those human resources and funds to facilitate lay preparation for ministry in the dioceses we are called to serve.