Over the past few months, the Research Team has been working to specify in greater detail the process for the Regional Encuentros. Our primary concern has been to ensure that the Regional consultation prepares the way to the V National Encuentro in September of next year. We have taken the opportunity to consult with many partners and stakeholders, and in this process the Spirit of God working among us has opened a way to engage many departments within the USCCB in the journey to the V National Encuentro.
It has taken time to make sure all of the pieces fit together, and the Bishops have clearly expressed their support for the path forward as outlined in the new materials we are sharing on the V Encuentro website this week in English, and next week in Spanish. Members of regional teams should take time to review the following materials:
- Revised Planning Guide. There are few changes in the overall structure of the Regional Encuentro events, but there are some important details that have been included in accordance with the elaboration of a more detailed process. Two sample schedules are included—one for a two-day event starting on Saturday morning, and another for a three-day event starting on a Friday evening. Adaptations for a one-day event are left up to the few regions taking that option.
- Regional Working Document Template. While each Region is responsible for the preparation of its Working Document, the National Research Team is offering to prepare the first draft based on the Diocesan Final Reports, unless the Regional Team has a strong preference to prepare its own document. Ken Johnson-Mondragón and his team will begin engaging each Regional Team with the materials submitted by the dioceses in the region about 2 or 3 months before the Regional Encuentro.
- Regional Encuentro PowerPoint. This slideshow will assist in maintaining the flow of each Regional Encuentro, and it can be customized to the needs of each Region.
- Regional Encuentro Facilitator Instructions. This document gives step-by-step instructions to carry out the process outlined in the Planning Guide, especially in the break-out and plenary sessions. There are handouts included to document the results of the process. These handouts should be collected and recorded at the conclusion of the Regional Encuentro.
As each Diocesan Encuentro concludes, please be sure to submit the results as soon as possible to both the National Research Team and the Regional Chair. The submission should be in the form of the Diocesan Final Report, which includes the Working Document updated with the results of the Encuentro dialogue, as well as the Diocesan Post-Encuentro Supplement.
Taking the time to present the analysis requested in Appendix A of the Working Document and the Post-Encuentro Supplement will enable us to provide a comprehensive report in each Region, as well as at the national level. We know that in many cases the data is incomplete—all we ask is that you do your best and describe what might be missing. ¡Ánimo! Together we have come a long way, and together we will have wonderful Regional Encuentros! If you have any questions, please contact Ken.