FIFTH NATIONAL ENCUENTRO OF HISPANIC/LATINO MINISTRY (V Encuentro)
WHAT IS THE V ENCUENTRO?
The V Encuentro is a four-year process of ecclesial reflection and action that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and identification of best ministerial practices in the spirit of the New Evangelization. The process has been proposed as a priority activity of the USCCB’s Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The V Encuentro starts at the grass-roots level and calls for the development of resources and initiatives to better serve the fast-growing Hispanic population in dioceses, parishes, ecclesial movements, and other Catholic organizations and institutions in light of its theme: Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love.
WHO PARTICIPATES IN THE V ENCUENTRO?
All leaders in arch/dioceses, parishes, lay ecclesial movements and other Catholic organizations and institutions are invited to participate by encountering Hispanic/Latino Catholics, particularly those living in the periphery through the missionary process of evangelization and consultation of the V Encuentro.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE V ENCUENTRO?
The main goal of the V Encuentro is to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence, and to strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to the New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE V ENCUENTRO?
- Call all Catholics in the United States to become authentic and joyful missionary disciples that give witness to God’s Love with a prophetic voice in a culturally diverse Church
- Provide a renewed ecclesial vision that develops effective pathways to invite, engage and form Hispanic Catholic youth, young adults, and families to live out their baptismal vocation
- Invite all Catholic leaders to engage and accompany Hispanic Catholics who find themselves in the peripheries of the Church and society, particularly those who live in at-risk situations and are not actively involved in their faith community
- Identify and promote opportunities for Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders to serve at all ministerial levels of the Church and the larger society, and increase the number of protagonists in the New Evangelization
- Stimulate a new wave of faith formation and leadership development initiatives that prepare Hispanic Catholics to share and celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ and to become leaven for the Reign of God in society
WHAT ARE THE THEMES OF THE FIVE-WEEK EVANGELIZING PROCESS AND CONSULTATION?
1. Called to a loving encounter with Jesus
2. With words and actions: Do it!
3. Walking Together with Jesus
4. Bearing fruits of new life
5. Celebrating the joy of being missionary disciples
*The five themes are inspired by Pope Francis’ call to create a culture of Encounter. The Joy of the Gospel (#24)
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE AND THE MILESTONES?
September – December
Development and training of V Encuentro diocesan teams
Development of the V Encuentro Process’ Guide
Distribution of V Encuentro Process Guide
Development and training of Parish teams
July – December
A five-week-long evangelization process and consultation.
Celebration of arch/diocesan Encuentros
Celebration of episcopal regional Encuentros
Celebration of the V National Encuentro event with 3,000 delegates from arch/dioceses and other Catholic organizations in Grapevine, TX at the Gaylord Texan Hotel
September – December
Evaluation and reflection on the V Encuentro’s evangelizing and consultative process
Development and distribution of proceedings and related resources
Continuing the Mission in episcopal regions, arch/dioceses, parishes and other Catholic organizations and institutions on the V Encuentro’s recommendations and related resources.
The process of Encuentro has been the catalyst for developing ministries among Hispanics/Latinos during the past fifty years. Each of the previous Encuentros has been a watershed experience that has significantly changed the way in which the Church responds to the Hispanic/Latino presence, and the way in which Hispanics/Latinos respond as Church.
- The I Encuentro (1972) led to the creation of the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs
- The II Encuentro (1975-77) led to the creation of eight regional offices for Hispanic Affairs
- The III Encuentro (1982-85) led to the creation of the Standing Committee of Hispanic Affairs, and thepromulgation of the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry; giving the green light, and a clear vision, todioceses and parishes to respond to the ever-growing Hispanic/Latino presence
- Encuentro 2000 (The IV Encuentro) helped the Church in the United States to recognize and appreciate itscultural diversity, through a “New Pentecost” experience
- The First National Encuentro for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry (2005-06)Opened new pastoral avenues in ministry to and with the Hispanic/Latino young churchThe V Encuentro finds an unprecedented number of parishes serving Hispanics/Latinos and a growing influence of apostolic movements, all of which are led by thousands of Hispanic/Latino lay-ecclesial ministers. It also counts with record numbers of Hispanics/Latinos engaged in formation programs and a growing number of Catholic Hispanic/Latino national organizations. However, such growth comes short in addressing the demands of the ever-growing Hispanic/Latino population.
The V Encuentro promises to be another watershed experience that provides the Church the clarity, enthusiasm and means it needs to more adequately respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence in the spirit of the New Evangelization.
At this moment of grace, it is of the upmost importance to champion the ongoing formation and leadership development of Hispanic/Latino Catholics. The V Encuentro is a privileged opportunity to prepare them as missionary disciples ready to serve the entire Church, and for the Church to better recognize and receive the gifts that Hispanics/Latinos bring to the Church and society in the United States.
For More information, visit www.vencuentro.org