Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Instituto Fe y Vida
South East Pastoral Institute
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association
Why a National Colloquium on Pastoral Juvenil/Ministry with Hispanic Youth and Young Adults?
It is estimated that about 55% of all Catholics in the United States under the age of 30 are Hispanic. That percentage is likely much higher when we consider Catholics under the age of 18. The present and the future of Catholicism in the United States are being profoundly defined by a demographic transition that still in many ministry quarters is seldom acknowledged. The outreach to Hispanic youth and young adults, immigrant and U.S.-born, continues to lag behind the growth of this population and the challenges it faces. Catholics in the United States are at a point in which it has become imperative to engage in moments of deep reflection to further understand the reality of Hispanic Catholic youth and young adults, how the Church is responding to this reality, and the impact of Pastoral Juvenil/ministry initiatives with Hispanic youth and young adults upon the larger evangelizing efforts of the Church in this country. This colloquium commemorates the 10thanniversary of the Primer Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (PENPJH), builds upon its insights, and takes its reflections one step forward.
How does the Colloquium connect with the V Encuentro?
Hispanic Catholics throughout the country have been called by the bishops of the United States to a process leading toward the Fifth National Encuentro of Pastoral Hispana. One of the priorities identified as part of this process is to place Hispanic Catholic young people at the center of the Church’s evangelizing efforts in the country. The Encuentro process, consequently, provides a unique framework for reflection and pastoral planning associated with the response to the challenges that Hispanic Catholic youth and young adult pose to a rapidly changing Church in the country. The Colloquium is a major contribution to the Encuentro process, serving as a catalyst for the conversation on how the Church can better reach out to Hispanic youth and young adults and empower Hispanic Catholic young people to assume their protagonism in the Church and in the larger society. Coincidentally, most members of the Colloquium’s steering committee are also part of the V Encuentro’s ENAHVE (Equipo Nacional de Acompañamiento Hacia el V Encuentro), which facilitates communication and collaboration.
Who participates in the colloquium?
65-70 pastoral leaders, researchers, and advocates involved in Pastoral Juvenil/ministry with Hispanic youth and young adults around the United States. Among these leaders, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, there will be people from national organizations supporting Pastoral Juvenil/ministry with Catholic youth and young adults as well as organizations and publisher developing materials to work with these populations. Participation in the colloquium will be only by invitation. All participants will be invited according to expertise with the expectation of making significant contributions to the conversations during the symposium. A list of potential participants will be developed in 2015.
What is the Format of the Colloquium?
Eight study groups addressing various areas directly associated with Pastoral Juvenil/ministry with Hispanic youth and young adults. Each study group will be constituted by experts, researchers, and practitioners in the particular area. A study document combining current research, strong analysis, and pastoral experience will be commissioned to guide the conversation in study areas. Prior to the development of the documents, the steering committee will lead a process of consultation among members of La RED and other leaders and organizations working in Pastoral Juvenil/ministry with Hispanic youth and young adults to learn about key questions and concerns, and to get their input as to how the resources emerging from the Colloquium will help them in their ministry. The results of the consultation will be integrated into the study documents. Once the study documents are written, members of La RED and another selected group of pastoral leaders will be invited to read the drafts and provide feedback. Writers will integrate such feedback in the best possible way. The resulting documents are the ones that will be guiding the conversation during the Colloquium. The documents will be revised at the end of the Colloquium, edited, and published in the form of a book in two languages (English and Spanish).
What are the study areas for the colloquium?
- U.S. Born Latino Youth and Young Adults/Jovenes
- Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministries/Pastoral Juvenil Hispana in Diocesan and Parish Life
- Developing Hispanic Catholic Young Leaders
- Hispanic Youth and Young Adults in Catholic Schools and Colleges
- Pathway of Faith: Faith Formation and Vocational Discernment
- Participation in the Life of the Church and the Larger Society: Immigrant and U.S.-‐Born Experiences
- Hispanic Catholic Youth and Young Adults At Risk
- Building community among Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Pastoral Juvenil Hispana
When will the colloquium take place?
Date: August 19-21, 2016 (start at noon on Friday 8/19, end at noon on Sunday 8/21).
Where will the colloquium take place?
Location: Boston College
What are some of the desired outcomes?
- Advance a focused conversation on Hispanic youth and young adult ministry as part of the process leading to the Fifth Encuentro Nacional Hispano de Pastoral and other similar conversations at the national level.
- Generate research, analysis, pastoral strategies and resources that will help move the ministry with young Hispanic Catholics forward.
- Identify and support a group of thinkers and practitioners, many of them working with La RED, that can continue the conversation about Hispanic youth and young adult ministry and bring this conversation to various spheres of Catholic ministerial reflection in the United States (e.g., USCCB, local dioceses, ministerial networks, apostolic movements, academic settings, etc.).
- Propose a vision for Catholic youth and young adult ministry in the United States that consciously acknowledges the presence of Hispanic young people (the majority of Catholics under 30) and places their needs and interests at the center of the Church’s pastoral reflection in this country.
- Empower and provide directions for La RED to envision a plan for further reflection and pastoral action for the next five years.