National Colloquium on Pastoral Juvenil Hispana / Ministry with Hispanic Youth and Young Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 1, 2015

Contact: Rev. Alejandro López-Cardinale, President (alopezcardinale@laredpjh.org)

La RED: National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana

La RED, National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and in communion with its partners: Boston College, the South East Pastoral Institute (SEPI), Instituto Fe y Vida, the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA), are pleased to announce a National Colloquium on Pastoral Juvenil Hispana / Ministry with Hispanic Youth and Young Adults, to be celebrated at Boston College from August 19 to 21, 2016.

The goal of this National Colloquium is to reflect from our pastoral praxis on the reality of our young Catholic Hispanic people: youth, jóvenes, young adult parents to, first at all, offer a space for reflection on what we are doing as a Catholic Church to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our young Catholic Hispanic people and examine whether this ministry is transforming the Church, its structures and organizations, into being a true home for this important population. Secondly, and not less important, participate in the the process leading to the V Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, initiated within the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, embraced by the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church and a Priority Activity of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, raising awareness about the needs, aspirations and contribution of our young Catholic Hispanic people in the life and mission of the Church in the United States while challenging all in our faith communities and organizations to respond with prophetic commitments.

In 2016 the Church in the United States celebrates 10 years since the First National Encuentro of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (PENPJH). Much has changed over the past decade. Today, an estimated 55 percent of all Catholics in the United States under the age of 30 are Hispanics. This percentage is likely much higher when one considers 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 seldom acknowledged, even among ministry leaders. The outreach to Hispanic youth, 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 where it is imperative to engage in moments of deep reflection to further understand the reality of our young Catholic Hispanic people, how the Church is responding to this reality, and the impact of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana / Hispanic youth and young adult ministry initiatives on the larger evangelizing efforts of the Church.

La RED, its partners and collaborative institutions convening this National Colloquium, in our efforts to advance a vibrant “pastoral de conjunto” (collaborative ministry) among national organizations and diocesan directors that minister to Hispanic youth, jóvenes and young adults is extending the consultation to all the Church and building a process on which people at the grass-root level can provide input regarding their ministry. The consultation, along with a communitarian process guide, will follow this press release. At the same time, in our 2015 Annual Meeting, our membership will have the great opportunity to give input and forward it to a reflection team. La RED is proposing seven study groups addressing various areas directly associated with Pastoral Juvenil Hispana / Hispanic youth and young adult ministry. Each study group will be comprised of experts, researchers, and practitioners in the particular area. A study document combining the input from the membership and feedback obtained from the people at the grassroots level, current research, strong analysis, and pastoral experience will be commissioned to guide the conversation in the study areas. The documents will be revised at the conclusion of the Colloquium, edited, and published in a book in two languages (English and Spanish).

The 2016 Colloquium will take this important reflection a necessary step forward as part of the journey toward the V Encuentro and the continued work of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana across the United States.

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