IMG_3522Diocesan Teams formed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to prepare for the V Encuentro. Under the excellent direction and coordination of Deacon Asterio Velasco, from the Archdiocese of Newark, diocesan representatives are on the go.

On Saturday, April 23, a regional encuentro was offered at the regional level for diocesan teams. It’s goal was to collaboratively begin organizing the V Encuentro. The regional team organized a dynamic day to inform, form, and share the process of the V Encuentro. The Diocese of Trenton serve as the host and opened the doors of, St. Mary’s Assumption Cathedral, in Trenton, to facilitate this training. Sandra Lopez, coordinator of Hispanic ministries initiatives of the Diocese of Trenton and diocesan representative for Region 3, helped organize the meeting.

The meeting provided participants the opportunity to reflect and learn a little about the Catholic Church and the lived realities in each diocese. One of the main hopes for the V Encuentro is dreaming and naming  what is needed to truly have a passionate spirit of shared faith at every level of our church from the parish to national structures.

Diocesan leaders of the regional committee were responsible for different subjects. Asterio Velasco welcomed the group and began with prayer. In fact, the whole process of the V Encuentro is a prayer because it seeks to communicate with God through His Spirit and Church. All are on the way with Jesus and the disciples toward Emmaus.

Kathia and Andres Arango shared  the history of the Encuentros and the process itself. Andrew and Kathia are an extraordinary team. Andres represents the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden while Kathia represents the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. They have an expertise in mobilizing people and connecting strategies and theology to the process.Kathia presented the “What is the Encuentro?”  while Andres focused on the “How?”- the process. Sister Ruth Bolarte, Executive Director of Multicultural Ministries of the Diocese of Metuchen, presented the “Why?” of the process of the V Encuentro and its role in the Catholic Church in the United States.

The training was is a great example for modeling Encuentro. Faith formation, sharing and collaboration were keys so that everyone got to know one another on the road. Maybe we are not going to Emaus today, but we seek to feel the fire that those disciples felt in the heart.

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