A historic gathering of more than 3,000 Hispanic/Latino ministry leaders and delegates from across the country is about to take place (September 20–23, 2018) in Grapevine, TX: the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry known as V Encuentro. This gathering is a key moment in a four-year process of evangelization, mission, and consultation (under the auspices of the USCCB), designed to serve as a catalyst for developing ministries among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. Delegates will be representing more than 165 dioceses that have held local diocesan V Encuentro gatherings, which involved nearly a quarter of a million people!
Our Church is blessed with incredible diversity, and we are privileged to be experiencing rapid growth in the presence of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. Church. In fact:
- Hispanics account for 71% of the growth of the Catholic population since 1960.
- 40% of all Catholics in the U.S. have a Hispanic background.
- Six out of ten Catholics under the age of 18 are of Hispanic background.
- U.S.-born Hispanics make up two-thirds of the Hispanic population.
- On average, parishes with Hispanic ministry have larger numbers of Catholics attending Mass compared to all parishes nationwide.
- Almost half of students currently enrolled in U.S. lay ministry formation programs self-identify as Hispanic.
(source: V Encuentro website)
We here at Loyola Press are proud to be serving as one of the Padrinos (Patrons)—organizations that have supported the V Encuentro process from its planning stages. I, personally, along with all of the contributors and staff that make up Catechist’s Journey, pledge solidarity with all those participating in this critically important gathering. May the Holy Spirit inspire the Church in the United States to fully embrace the myriad gifts that our Hispanic/Latino brothers and sisters bring to the Body of Christ!