- Dec 10, 2019
The new president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Sister Teresa Maya, is an American born in Mexico and with plenty of experience living in both countries. She is bringing that experience of knowing both cultures to leading an organization that works with an increasing number of Latinos.
If all goes well with the Encuentro process, which organizers call the “V Encuentro” because it’s the fifth time it’s taking place, church officials hope it will yield an increase in vocations of Latinos to the priesthood, religious life, permanent diaconate, an increase in the percentage of Latino students enrolling at Catholic schools, and create a group of Latino leaders for the church, as well as increase Latinos’ sense of belonging and stewardship in the U.S. church where their numbers are rising.
Hosffman Ospino of Boston College reminds American Catholics “that 60 percent of U.S. Catholics younger than eighteen are Hispanic. This is not a number that we can afford to ignore as a church! If we do the math, just in a few years, the majority of Catholics in the United States will share a Hispanic background. They will be writing the next chapter of the history of U.S. Catholicism, but they will not—and should not—do it alone.”
After eight men dressed like hunters walked in during Spanish Mass at St. Peter Church in Southeast Portland and accused the mostly immigrant worshippers of not being true Christians, 300 people formed a human shield in front of the church the following Sunday to show love and support.
On Saturday, December 10, hundreds of pilgrims walked a procession in honor of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe carrying images of Mary. The feast brings together people of all ages and backgrounds, but it is a particularly special event for the Hispanic Catholic community.