Miriam Bannon, CCVI, to lead V Encuentro Youth and Young Adult Leadership Initiative (VEYYALI)

Washington DC:  The USCCB Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church has contracted Miriam Bannon, a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, as Project Manager of a post V Encuentro initiative. The project will develop and implement comprehensive guidelines for a nationally replicable model and methodology for leadership development and formation of emerging youth and young adult Hispanic leaders.

The process of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry highlighted a major national concern for Hispanic youth and young adults and their formation as Church leaders and committed Catholics.  In response to this broad-based concern, and in continuation of the Encuentro’s objective to develop 25,000 new emerging Hispanic leaders, this initiative seeks to form Hispanic/Latino young adults and adults working with Hispanic/Latino youth and young adults through a solid certificate program and create a pathway towards degree programs.

After receiving her M.Ed. and M.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, Miriam left Ireland inspired by Gandhi’s invitation to live the change she wanted to see.  Miriam believes a vision becomes reality when people embark on a journey together.  For over 30 years, from the Sierra Tarahumara in the high plateau of Northern Mexico, to Mexico City, and finally to the US Midwestern heartland, Miriam has accompanied communities, a task she considers

“akin to walking barefoot on sacred ground.”

The people taught her to hold steadfast to their hopes and dreams, to be consistent and faithful.  They taught her solidarity, how to give and receive hospitality, and to share stories and resources.

Miriam brings over three decades of experience in education, pastoral ministry and leadership formation in Mexico and the U.S..  From 2000 to 2011 her role in the Instituto Cultural de Liderazgo en el Medioeste (ICLM) centered on developing practicum experiences for ministerial students, training mentors and establishing equivalencies for diocesan recognition that lead toward certification in Hispanic Ministry.

As a member of Federación de Institutos Pastorales (FIP), Miriam coordinated the development of an accreditation process for Hispanic Pastoral Institutes in the United States.  More recently, she has worked in strategic pastoral planning in Mexico City and as Field Investigator for the Urban Pastoral Development Network in describing and analyzing new approaches to evangelization and ministry.

Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, National Coordinator of the V Encuentro, affirmed,

“Sr. Miriam Bannon, comes to us with a wealth of experience in curriculum and leadership development intended for the Hispanic/Latino community. Her knowledge, experience and dedication are a great gift towards the development of VEYYALI.”

As Project Manager, Miriam will coordinate the approximately three-year development of a national project for leadership formation of Hispanic youth and adults.

  1. Phase Iof this project will invite institutions and organizations to propose best practices in leadership formation.
  2. In Phase II, they will work together to construct the program and implement a pilot study. Collaborative pathways leading towards degree programs will be explored.
  3. Phase IIIwill focus on expanding the program and further identifying alternatives for Hispanic leaders to have access to academic degrees in various institutions of higher education.


The V Encuentro Youth and Young Adult Leadership Initiative(VEYYALI)  is a V Encuentro initiative that will develop a national leadership formation program for Hispanic youth and young adults leading toward ministry and service in intercultural contexts. The V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry is a four-year process of ecclesial reflection & action in Catholic parishes across the United States and a priority activity of the USCCB’s Strategic Plan for 2017-2020.