Regional Hispanic ministers rally around common missions

It had been six months since delegates from dioceses throughout the country gathered in Texas for V Encuentro, with a promise of a final document later this year. However, for the 10 dioceses of Region 13 – the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming – plans to move forward are continuing, with representatives gathered at a spring retreat at Redemptorist Renewal Center April 2-4 to fashion a mission statement for the region.

“This is a very beautiful statement,” said Michelle Montez, executive director for the Pastoral Ministries Division in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on the final day, April 4. Montez and Roberto Rojas, a member of the V Encuentro National Team of Accompaniment and senior advisor for Hispanic Outreach at Catholic Relief Services, led a series of sessions culminating with the mission statement, and a discussion on next steps in the wake of V Encuentro.

The mission statement read:

“We are pastoral leaders of Hispanic Ministry, delegates of the bishops of Region XIII serving the People of God, in particular the Hispanic/Latino community in its diversity. Guided by the Holy Spirit and under the protection of our most Holy Mother, the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization, we collaborate with each other sharing a vision of Communion in Mission.”

Four bullet points followed to complete the statement:

  • ”We live and promote a daily, personal encounter with Christ;
  • We support integral formation, with emphasis in the promotion of Missionary Disciples;
  • We collaborate with each other along with the Church and its leadership;
  • We celebrate our diversity in unity and charity.”

“Wherever you go, this should be your calling card,” said Montez, said of the role the mission statement should play following the retreat.

Rojas said he knew of only one other region of the country – Region 11 comprising California and Nevada – to write its own mission statement, and that occurred “many years ago.” Rojas praised the delegates for their efforts and “how you worked with each other really well.” Montez said the mission statement reflected the effort of a group of leaders who had grown together since V Encuentro was first begun. “When I first met this group three years ago, I knew all these people were not on the same page,” she said.

Rojas said he was impressed by how easily the regional representatives got along, especially how they could relax and spend social time together after each day’s sessions. One of the most discussed questions was how to deal with the Spanish term Pastoral de Conjunto, which doesn’t translate directly into English. However, the group agreed that “Communion in Mission” best approximates a clear definition.

2019 © Article by Michael Brown, Catholic Outlook. Reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Region 13 © 2019.  All rights reserved.