By Alejandro Siller-Gonzalez
Assistant Director for Hispanic Programs, Congar Institute
Representing FIP (Fedracion de Institutos Pastorales) as a member of the ENAHVE team for the V Encuentro.
“The preparation process for the V Encuentro is very much on its way and you need to be part of it, no matter the culture or ethnic group you decide you belong.”
The Congar Institute is an active participant of this V Encuentro and we want to support it because of own mission “to partner with dioceses in the formation of lay pastoral leaders” inspired by the documents Encuentro y Mision and Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord.
Pope Francis calls us to create a culture of Encuentro and to always live out the missionary nature of the Church that serves, above all, the poor and suffering. This persistent call is included over 165 times in the Old Testament. The West African continent cultural image of the concept of SANKOFA adds light to our Encuentro by teaching us that “we must go back to our roots in order to move forward” (ref. Sr. Addie Lorraine Walker, SSND).
Recently the national planning team for the V Encuentro met in Baltimore to continue the planning process. This gathering included members of the National Coordinating Team and the National Accompaniment Team known by its acronym in Spanish ENAHVE (Equipo Nacional de Acompañamiento Hacia el V Encuentro). In this meeting we reviewed the process of preparation, understanding the present Hispanic/Latino demographics and reflected on the spiritual and theological foundations that move us forward towards this Encuentro. We affirmed the need for the Hispanic/Latino communities in our Church to gather, to embrace and to accept the reality of our changing demographics and challenges, and to plan together with our whole Church community in the U.S. on how to have unity in diversity in the Church in the midst of the changing challenges. We felt a need to respond to the needs of those that are not active members of our Church community, as well as those that are not or do not feel welcome, especially our youth and young adults, our poor and lonely, immigrants, and those that we are not accepting as part of our communities due to their particular needs.
We were happy to pray and reflect together, open to the Spirit and joyful for the commitment and faithfulness to the mission expressed by each one of the participants.
Our companion and composer and singer, Pedro Rubalcaba, inspired us and animated us with his song “Our Hearts Burned Within Us.” Truly a hymn for our V Encuentro.
More information about our recent ENAHVE meeting
Location: Baltimore February 12-14, 2015.
Theme: “En Camino Hacia el V Encuentro”
Purpose: Training of Episcopal Regional Chairs and the Members of ENAHVE, and to reaffirm the Framework Toward a V Encuentro.
- About thirty participated including members of the ENAHVE committee and the Episcopal Regions’ Chairpersons. Alejandro Siller-Gonzalez represents FIP as part of the Process committee of ENAHVE. The Congar Institute has been very supportive of time and effort to represent FIP in the meetings, phone conferences and in the work that is generated by both.
- At this moment fourteen regions have their chairperson, a Lead Bishop and an Anchoring Institution in charge of managing funds needed for each region. Five thousand dollars will be provided to each region from the office of the USCCB Secretariat for Diversity, Subcommittee for Hispanic Affairs as a startup fund.
- The Logo for the V Encuentro was introduced, as well as the Web page www.enahve.org . Among the information that will be presented in this webpage are resources for training of Episcopal Regional Chairs as well as the Diocesan Coordinators; and information to the public in general. You can now subscribe to the Newsletter.
- It is expected that the V Encuentro will be part of the USCCB Strategic cycle that begins in 2017 and that the Encuentro will take place in 2018. At this time work is being focused on preparation and discernment of objectives, themes, and the structure that will accompany the process of the Encuentro. Due to the time table ahead of us, the National Coordinating Team added the word ‘hacia’ (meaning “toward”) to reflect this time of preparation: EQUIPO NACIONAL DE ACOMPAÑAMIENTO HACIA UN V ENCUENTRO (ENAHVE)
- The following are national events that have and will take place. These events will be a learning experience in preparation to the V Encuentro.
- II National Symposium on Catholic Hispanic/Latino Ministry June 23-25, 2014
- Raices y Alas National Congress. October 30-November 2, 2014.
- VIII World Meeting of Families- September 22-27, 2015. Philadelphia
- World Youth Day – July 25-31, 2016. Poland.
- 50th Anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, July 20-23, 2017 in Pittsburg, PA
- The Spirituality that enlivens the Encuentro is that of missionary disciples and the way to EMMAUS portrayed in the Gospel.
- The purpose of the Encuentro is to animate us to continue walking as People of God, to raise our prophetic voice again and discern about the priorities and pastoral strategies according to our time. The V Encuentro is inspired in the praxis of Jesus in the Gospels and by the call of our Pope Francis to go out with joy and hope to the margins. Our process will come out to encounter those that have distanced themselves from the Church, those that are sad, those living in poverty, those that lay down by the road and are in need of the merciful and tender embrace of Jesus today. From that perspective is where discernment will have the best pastoral and evangelizing response of the Church in parishes, dioceses, ecclesial movements, at a regional and national level. Hispanic/Latinos adolescents and young adults will be the preferential option in this process.
- The document presented by Hosffman Ospino during his keynote presentation in Raices y Alas Congress in San Antonio on November 2, 2014, “Called and Sent to Encuentro,” will be the Pastoral Theological Vision for the V Encuentro Process.
- The V Encuentro Organization Chart is:
National Coordinating Team.
- Four consultants
- Committees for Process, Communications, Development, Secretariat, Logistics, Liturgy, Exhibits, Bishops and VIPs, and the Host Diocese.
Note: We hope this information will motivate you to follow-up through our webpage and newsletter on the process of the V Encuentro.