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BOSTON COLLEGE !

OFFICE OF NEWS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

! !   "#!$%&!'&()*!+%&!',$-.#,/!0$123!.4!5,$%./-6!7,8-)%&)!(-$%!9-):,#-6!;-#-)$83!! In  the  News:  The  National  Study  of  Catholic  Parishes  with  Hispanic  Ministry     !   !   "#$%!&'()$*+,$'-!'.!-/0%!&*$)%!'../1%!+!%+()*$-2!'.!,#/!31/+4,#!+-4!4/),#!'.!*'&+*5! This  compilation  of  news  clips  offers  a  sampling  of  the  breadth  and  depth  of  local,   -+,$'-+*!+-4!$-,/1-+,$'-+*!(/4$+!&'6/1+2/!4/6',/4!,'!7&#''*!'.!"#/'*'28!+-4! national  and  international  media  coverage  devoted  to  School  of  Theology  and   9$-$%,18!:%%$%,+-,!;1'./%%'1!'.!<$%)+-$&!9$-$%,18!+-4!=/*$2$'>%!?4>&+,$'-!<'%..(+-! Ministry  Assistant  Professor  of  Hispanic  Ministry  and  Religious  Education  Hosffman   @%)$-'!.'1!#$%!*+-4(+1A!1/)'1,!!"#$%&'()*&+$,'-./$)0$1&'")+(2$3&4(5"#5$6('"$7(58&*(2$ Ospino  for  his  landmark  report  The  National  Study  of  Catholic  Parishes  with  Hispanic   9(*(5'4/5!0#$&#!0+%!1/*/+%/4!'-!9+8!B5!CDEFG! Ministry,  which  was  released  on  May  5,  2014.   !   H-!,',+*5!I1G!@%)$-'J%!%,>48!+))/+1/4!$-!('1/!,#+-!CBD!(/4$+!'>,*/,%!1+-2$-2!.1'(! In  total,  Dr.  Ospino’s  study  appeared  in  more  than  250  media  outlets  ranging  from   !"#$%#6$:)4;$!(<#5!+-4!%&'()*&+$1&'")+(2$=#8)4'#4!,'!9,%$>4?#*'(*&!+-4!!"#$ The  New  York  Times  and  National  Catholic  Reporter  to  MSN  Argentina  and  The   !&@+#'A$H-!,#/$1!&'6/1+2/5!K'>1-+*$%,%!'../1/4!+!,#'>2#,.>*!/L+($-+,$'-!'.!;1'./%%'1! Tablet.  In  their  coverage,  journalists  offered  a  thoughtful  examination  of  Professor   @%)$-'J%!+%%/%%(/-,!'.!,#/!&#+**/-2/%!+-4!'))'1,>-$,$/%!:(/1$&+J%!3>12/'-$-2! Ospino’s  assessment  of  the  challenges  and  opportunities  America’s  burgeoning   <$%)+-$&!)')>*+,$'-!)1/%/-,%!,'!3',#!)+1$%#/%!+-4!,#/!0$4/1!M+,#'*$&!M#>1&#G!! Hispanic  population  presents  to  both  parishes  and  the  wider  Catholic  Church.     !   "#/!&'6/1+2/!0+%!,#/!1/%>*,!'.!+!%,1+,/2$&!)+1,-/1%#$)!3/,0//-!;1'./%%'1!@%)$-'! The  coverage  was  the  result  of  a  strategic  partnership  between  Professor  Ospino   +-4!,#/!@..$&/!'.!N/0%!O!;>3*$&!:..+$1%!+,!P'%,'-!M'**/2/5!+-4!3/.$,%!3',#!+!%,>48!'.! and  the  Office  of  News  &  Public  Affairs  at  Boston  College,  and  befits  both  a  study  of   -+,$'-+*!%$2-$.$&+-&/!+-4!,#/!7&#''*!'.!"#/'*'28!+-4!9$-$%,18J%!21'0$-2!1/)>,+,$'-! national  significance  and  the  School  of  Theology  and  Ministry’s  growing  reputation   +%!'-/!'.!,#/!0'1*4J%!.'1/('%,!&/-,/1%!'.!M#>1&#!%&#'*+1%#$)G! as  one  of  the  world’s  foremost  theological  centers.   !   !   Q+&A!I>--! Jack  Dunn   N/0%!O!;>3*$&!:..+$1%! News  &  Public  Affairs   !   !  

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BC study says Latinos are key to future of US Catholicism By Peter Schworm | M A Y 0 5 , 2 0 1 4

The future of Catholicism in America rests heavily on the church’s ability to attract and retain young Hispanics whose connection to secular life is stronger than to the faith that sustained their parents, according to a new national study led by Boston College researchers. The three-year study, which will be released Monday, said that failing to bring more young Hispanics into the church has broad consequences at a time when Latinos constitute 40 percent of all Catholics in the United States. “The secularization of Hispanics is the biggest threat to the future of the Catholic Church in America,” said Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor of theology and ministry at Boston College and lead author of the report. “We run the risk of losing a whole generation of Catholics.” Just 3 percent of Hispanic Catholic children attend church schools and a declining number of Hispanics under age 30 attend Mass. The report, titled “The National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry,” is the first national study to focus exclusively on Catholic parishes with Hispanic ministries, Ospino said. Through broad surveys and personal interviews, the researchers sought to document the scope of the Hispanic influx, which is responsible for 70 percent of the church’s growth since the 1960s. “If it weren’t for the Hispanic influx, the Catholic Church in the US would be in major decline,” Ospino said. Researchers note that the arrival of 40 million Hispanic immigrants over the past half-century is 10 times the immigration rate of another ethnic group that transformed the church: Irish emigres from 1860 to 1960. The report, conducted in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, will be released in Boston at a gathering of prominent Catholic leaders, and it comes at a moment when the church for the first time is led by a pontiff from South America, Pope Francis. The study makes a clear call to action, urging the church to develop a strategy to address the issues facing Hispanics and their parishes. The issues take on added importance as the Catholic Church becomes more reliant on Hispanics, specialists said. By 2050, Hispanics will probably account for more than 60 percent of American Catholics. “It will be an entirely different Catholic experience,” Ospino said. But without a shift in focus, the parish structure in the United States will decline dramatically, as it did in Europe, Ospino said. “Somehow, the church needs to change strategies and attitudes toward Hispanics in the parishes,” Ospino said. “It’s something the church has to come to terms with.” Because the stakes are so high, efforts are underway to bolster the church’s presence in the Hispanic community. Mar Munoz-Visoso, executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the group is working to increase the number of Hispanic seminarians and priests, and she said that Hispanic offices have been established in dioceses throughout the United States. “The Catholic Church in the US has made strides in meeting the spiritual needs of Hispanics, yet the needs of such a growing and huge community require the church to do more,” she said. Ken Johnson-Mondragón, director of research and publications at the Institute for Faith and Life, a nonprofit Catholic leadership institute that specializes in ministry for young Hispanics, said reaching younger generations has been a “major preoccupation” for Hispanic ministries. “The reach with the next generation is not very strong,” he said. “It doesn’t hold the attraction.” In a secular society in which religion seems to be “on the back burner of life” and parents are struggling to pass their faith on to their children, churches face a stern challenge, Johnson-Mondragón said. “The culture doesn’t help, and the church doesn’t have the tools,” he said.


The Rev. Thomas Domurat, pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in East Boston, said the parish has reached out to the Hispanic community, going door to door to promote prayer groups and Bible study. On an average weekend, some 2,700 people attend Masses, the vast majority of whom speak Spanish. “The Spanish Masses get the big crowds,” he said. The church also offers confessions in Spanish, drawing worshippers from outside the parish. But like other churches, Most Holy Redeemer struggles to attract Hispanics who have grown up in the United States. “They are captured by the culture around them,” Domurat said. On Sunday, Most Holy Redeemer filled every pew for its noon Mass in Spanish. Parishioner Maria Luperon, 57, said it is typical to see a full house at each of the church’s four Sunday Masses. She and other congregants said the church appeals to the local Latino community by offering a wide variety of classes and activities in Spanish, with several specifically geared to young people. “This church is very open to everybody,” said Luperon, a native of the Dominican Republic who has sung in the church choir for 18 years. Carlos Monroy, 22, was born in the United States to parents from El Salvador. He said he attends church each week, but he knows many young people who do not, though most were not brought up in the church. Carlos Rodriguez, 30, emigrated from El Salvador to Everett at 22 and first visited the church shortly after his arrival. Initially, he said, he wasn’t deeply involved, but that changed after he joined a Bible study group. Rodriguez now leads a group that visits community members at home and evangelizes to them. He said that effort makes a difference. “I see this church very active, actually,” he said. “I see others not as big as this one.” The authors of the BC study found that even as the ranks of Hispanic Catholics burgeoned in recent decades, the church was often slow to adapt. Only 25 percent of Catholic parishes have any Mass in Spanish, with the vast majority in the South and West. And those Masses are sometimes held at less convenient times that make them feel like “an addendum to the church schedule,” Ospino said. “Language remains a barrier,” he said. In the Boston archdiocese, just 40 of almost 300 parishes offer Spanish-language Masses, he said. That has contributed to the tenuous relationship many Hispanics have with the church, researchers found. Many churches reported that Hispanics remain on the periphery of church life, and that active participation “remains at a minimal level,” the study found. The study, which was funded by anonymous donors and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute, surveyed nearly 100 directors of Hispanic ministries in dioceses across the country. Churches have long focused their efforts on first-generation immigrants and pastoral outreach to Hispanic youth, especially US-born, remains modest. As Hispanics move toward becoming a majority in the US Catholic Church, that needs to change, the report found. “Much of the Catholic experience in the country during the next few decades will be significantly shaped by how the church reaches out to this important group and whether young Hispanics in this age bracket, at least those living in Catholic homes, decide to self-identify as Catholic,” the report says. On average, parishes with Hispanic ministries have fewer resources, and many struggle financially, the BC report found. In parishes with Hispanic majorities, money is even scarcer. And the report concluded that relatively few Latinos hold positions of leadership in the church, Ospino said, and many “champions of Hispanic ministry” are near the end of their careers. “Who is going to replace them?” he asked.

 


Religion in America

 

Hispanic Growth Is Strength but Also Challenge for U.S. Catholic Church MAY 5, 2014 By Michael Paulson

The Roman Catholic Church has known for years that its future in the United States depends heavily on Hispanics. The church, which is the largest religious denomination in the country, is already about 40 percent Hispanic, and the demographic change is inexorable: Within the next few decades, Hispanics are expected to make up a majority of American Catholics. The influx of Hispanics has been a stabilizing factor for the church. Were it not for immigration, Catholicism in the United States would be dwindling as non-immigrant Catholics drift away from the church. But the changing makeup of American Catholicism also poses challenges, starting with the problem that much of the physical and political infrastructure of the church is concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, while much of the immigrationfueled growth is in the Southwest and West. Hispanic Catholics differ from other American Catholics in a number of striking, and significant, ways: Hispanic parents have been much less likely to send their children to Catholic schools, and their sons have been less likely to pursue the priesthood. A researcher at Boston College, Hosffman Ospino, has undertaken a new effort to understand the behavior of Hispanic American Catholics, and the implications for the larger church. In a study released Monday, Mr. Ospino finds a relatively high level of participation in church sacraments, but a low level of participation in other aspects of parish life, and a concerning lack of personnel and financial resources in parishes with high numbers of Hispanics. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, a priest who was born in Mexico City, during a Mass in Spanish on Sunday at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn. The Roman Catholic Church is about 40 percent Hispanic in the United States. Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times “There is a bleak picture in terms of resources,” Mr. Ospino said. “And it is noticeable that at higher levels of leadership, the number of Hispanics are lower.”


There are positive findings: Mass attendance in parishes with Hispanic ministries is 22 percent higher than in the average parish, a promising sign in a church that has seen attendance at Masses dropping over the last few decades. Rates of baptism and first communions are also higher. But attendance rates at weekday Mass are quite low, participation in non-sacramental activities like youth groups is low, and contributions to collection are also low, often reflecting economic hardship. Parishes serving Hispanics often have fewer staffers per parishioner than other parishes, according to the study; parishes with high numbers of Hispanic parishioners are also less likely to have a parish school. Previous research has suggested that only 3 percent of Hispanic Catholic children go to Catholic schools in the United States, an issue that the leadership of the Catholic Church has been working on for some time. The challenges are cultural as well as financial. In some Latin American countries, Catholic schools cater largely to wealthy families, and as a result the idea of attending Catholic schools is alien to many immigrant families in the United States, according to Mar Muñoz-Visoso, the executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ms. Muñoz-Visoso said the church had also been trying to increase the number of priests, as well as monks, friars and nuns, who minister to Hispanics. “The growth of the population has been so tremendous, it’s been very difficult to keep up with the needs and the demands,” she said. The study was based on surveys of parishes with Hispanic ministries; data collection and analysis was conducted by Boston College, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The study is the first of two being released this week examining the religious lives of American Hispanics. On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center plans to release results of a large poll examining religious identity among Hispanics in the United States.  


Many U.S. Latinos shift from Catholicism to Pentecostalism, other choices, survey finds

 

By Michelle Boorstein, Published: May 7 E-mail the writer

Hispanic religion is in a period of great flux in the United States, a new survey finds, with the share of Latinos who identify as Catholic dropping sharply — by 12 percentage points — in just the past four years as many switch to Pentecostalism or join the growing ranks of the religiously unaffiliated. Experts say the future of U.S. Catholicism depends on the church’s ability to discern and meet the shifting needs of U.S. Latinos. The survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center provides detail about two major long-term trends that on the surface appear counterintuitive. On the one hand, millions of Latinos are leaving Catholicism; on the other, Latinos are becoming a larger share of U.S. Catholics. But the growth in proportion is due to the growth in the nation’s Hispanic population, which now includes around 35.4 million adults. The forces behind the religious shift among Latinos reflect a globally dynamic religious marketplace. Americans in general are switching faiths at nearly the same rate, and the Pew survey shows that among foreign-born Latinos who changed, half did so before they came to the United States. Rapid urbanization and evangelical Protestant outreach in Latin America have pulled people away from Catholicism there. But Cary Funk, a senior researcher with Pew, said the movement away from Catholicism in the United States was “striking” even with all the spiritual browsing that Americans are doing. The survey found that one in four Latinos is a former Catholic. Fifty-five percent of Latinos describe themselves as Catholic, down from 67 percent in 2010. Twenty-two percent say they are evangelical Protestants, compared with 12 percent in 2010, while 18 percent say they are unaffiliated, compared with 10 percent in 2010. “Broadly, it’s a similar level of religious switching. But the size of the change and the speed is unusually large,” Funk said. “What we’re seeing is a greater religious pluralism among Latinos.” Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the church is working to catch up with Latino immigration. While 3 percent of U.S. priests today are Latino, 15 percent of the men who will be ordained in 2014 are, she said. “The growth in numbers has been so big, the challenge is still before us,” she said. A study released this week by Boston College found that only one in four U.S. parishes has an organized ministry to Latinos, even though 33 percent of all U.S. Catholics are Hispanic. It also said only about a third of pastors engaged in Hispanic ministry are proficient in Spanish.


“There are already predictions about the death of the parish in America,” said Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and the leader of the study. “If we fail to address the issues facing Hispanic Catholics and the parishes that serve them, then the parish structure in America will experience a dramatic decline, as it did in Europe.” The reasons people gave in the Pew survey for leaving the church are complex, but the most common were that they “gradually drifted away” or “stopped believing in the religion’s teachings.” Hispanic Catholics closely resemble white, non-Hispanic Catholics in their disagreement with certain core church teachings: 72 percent of Hispanic Catholics support use of birth control, for example. The Rev. Virgilio Elizondo, a professor of Hispanic theology at the University of Notre Dame, said he found the results “exciting, not alarming.” Parishes that offer vibrant programs to Latinos find people hungry for religion — more hungry than in Latin America, he said, where many people have virtually no priests because of clergy shortages there. “Where the church is active, churches are packed beyond capacity,” Elizondo said. He also viewed people coming into Protestantism as a positive thing. When you look in ecumenical terms, “that means more people are involved. There is excitement. That’s the reality. Latinos in the U.S. are excited about religion.” It’s hard to determine, experts say, whether Latinos will shift political affiliations with faith affiliations or whether the faith switch followed a political one. Often in the United States, religious affiliation and certain religious metrics — such as church attendance — are good predictors of people’s political leanings and views on social issues. While Latinos of all faiths are strongly Democratic, evangelicals are more likely to identify as Republicans and the unaffiliated are more likely to lean Democratic — like Americans generally. Thirty percent of Latino evangelicals lean toward the GOP, compared with 21 percent of Catholics and 16 percent of those who are unaffiliated. Tim Matavino, executive director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, said Latino voting habits are not fixed. He noted that Latino Catholics tend to line up with the church’s official positions more than other Catholics: conservative on family and reproductive issues and liberal on economic ones, such as health care and public assistance. “But the longer they are here in the U.S., the more that breaks down,” he said.  


The Church's changing face Staggering numbers from a new study show how important Hispanics are to the future of Catholicism in the United States Hosffman Ospino OSV Newsweekly May 5, 2014

A good indicator to measure the vibrancy of Catholic life in the United States is the parish. While not exclusively, for U.S. Catholics the parish has been and remains a privileged space to celebrate and share the Faith, to experience community and live our discipleship. Catholic parishes in the United States have experienced many transitions during the last two decades. Closings and mergers have decimated the number of parishes in the country by 11 percent. In the meantime, the total U.S. Catholic population has increased nearly 20 percent. The decline in the number of ordained ministers has led to conversations about whether parishes can or should remain open without the presence of a resident priest, or at least one available to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments on a regular basis. The aging of large sectors of the active Catholic population and the scant participation of young and young adult Catholics in many of these faith communities are serious reasons for concern. Is the Catholic parish in the United States on its way to extinction? Will we experience the fate of thousands of parishes in Europe? My answer to these two questions is a hopeful “no.” At least, not yet — if we take into consideration perhaps the most significant transformation of parish life in the past few decades, one many Catholics often miss: the fast-growing presence of Hispanic Catholics and Catholics of Asian background. In numbers, this is how the Hispanic presence is profoundly transforming the entire U.S. Catholic experience, with major implications for parish life:


Hispanics account for 71 percent of the growth of the Catholic population in the United States since 1960. In the 1960s, about 10 percent of the Catholic population was Hispanic. In the 1980s, 25 percent. Today, 40 percent of all Catholics in the country share a Hispanic background. Of the more than 50 million Hispanics living in the country, 59 percent self-identify as Catholic. Approximately 55 percent of all U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Hispanic. The Hispanic population is expected to triple by 2050. Twenty-five percent of all Catholic parishes in the country have Hispanic ministry (only 15 percent did in the 1980s). This percentage is expected to increase. I hope that these numbers have gotten your attention. U.S. Catholicism in what remains of the first half of the 21st century will be largely shaped by the Hispanic experience. The vibrancy or decline of thousands of Catholic parishes in our country will be closely linked to how these communities embrace Hispanics with their joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties. In turn, the future of thousands of parishes will depend on how much Hispanic Catholics commit to bringing them to the fullness of their potential. After all, the character of the parish is determined by the people who belong to it. Tall order, isn’t it? The cultural and demographic transitions transforming our parishes call for serious discernment on the part of the entire U.S. Catholic community to envision how to best serve Hispanic Catholics in our parishes in the spirit of the New Evangelization. But to do so, we need to do pastoral planning that leads to envisioning creative ways to passionately bring people to an encounter with Jesus Christ in the everyday of their lives. And to do such effective pastoral planning, we do well studying and learning more about the faith communities where Hispanics are present. The study In 2011, Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry launched a three-year research project called the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry. This is the first time a comprehensive national study focuses solely on Catholic parishes with Hispanic ministry. The effort was possible thanks to several organizations — including the Our Sunday Visitor Institute — committed to supporting initiatives that lead to a stronger Catholic experience in the United States. I had the privilege of leading the project as its principal investigator working in close collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). In 2011, 4,368 parishes were identified as having Hispanic ministry, mostly defined by pastoral leaders as communities with Spanish-language liturgies. All parishes received three comprehensive questionnaires designed for pastors, directors of religious education directly working with Hispanics and parish directors of Hispanic ministry. Also, all diocesan directors of Hispanic ministry or their equivalent in the territorial, Latin rite U.S. dioceses where these offices exist were invited to participate. We identified 178 directors in 172 dioceses and all received a questionnaire specifically designed for them. All materials and communications were available in English and Spanish. The generous participation of pastoral leaders in these parishes, as well as the diocesan officers, has yielded a wealth of information that allows us to better assess life in parishes serving Hispanic Catholics. This information gives us a good sense of what Catholic life in the United States is like in many places where Catholicism is growing vibrantly — of course, not without challenges. Considering current demographic trends and the steady growth and influence of Hispanic Catholics,


these communities also provide us with glimpses of what U.S. Catholicism will look like in vast regions of the country in the near future. The first summary report has been released and is available at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry website. A number of specialized reports looking more closely at parish dynamics and pastoral leadership will follow. The following are some preliminary observations based on data collected from responding parishes. Upcoming articles will address other areas of parish life in communities doing Hispanic ministry throughout the country. Look south and west Most Catholic parishes (61 percent) in the United States are in the Northeast and the Midwest. These are the regions that have experienced most of the parish closings and mergers. Only 39 percent of all parishes are in the South and the West. Yet, it is in these regions where the vast majority of parishes with Hispanic ministry (approximately 61 percent) are located; only 15 percent are in the Northeast and 24 percent in the Midwest. The geographical distribution of parishes with Hispanic ministry is consistent with the distribution of the Hispanic Catholic population in the United States. From a historical perspective, it is worth noting that the strong Catholic presence in the Northeast and Midwest led to the establishment of very important structures such as parishes, schools, universities, social service institutions and networks. For many decades these structures served not only the Catholic population in these regions, but also allowed Catholicism to exercise an influential voice in the immediate social context where those structures thrived. A good number of these Catholic institutions will remain in these regions. However, given the current demographic changes, their future will largely depend on how Hispanic Catholics — and Catholics from other ethnicities — benefit from them and eventually are invited to lead them. In the South and the West, however, the existence of similar structures and networks is not as strong as in the Northeast and Midwest. But this might change in light of the increasing growth of the Catholic population in these regions, mainly due to the Hispanic presence. For this to happen, Catholics need to invest in the emerging communities with a spirit of solidarity, build necessary and efficient structures to continue the work of evangelization and remain open to shifting understandings of what it means to be Catholic in the United States.

Candles are placed in sand to form a cross at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Tulsa, Okla., during a “Dia de las Muertos” celebration at the predominantly Hispanic parish. CNS photo

We must invest in parishes serving Hispanic Catholics. In some places, investment is needed to strengthen those communities already doing so. Many of them didn’t begin serving Hispanic Catholics until very recently and are still adjusting their structures and cultures to do this well. Parishes with Hispanic ministry typically began celebrating Masses and baptisms in Spanish in 1995. In others places, Catholics must build new parishes to meet the needs of the Catholic population there. All we need to do is look at our local demographics. Ministry in flux Hispanic Catholicism is a gift for the Church in the United States, as our bishops have repeatedly indicated. When parishes intentionally serve this population, they enter into a unique process of transformation. What is clear from the experience of parishes with Hispanic ministry is that such transformation is not reduced to uncontested assimilation into pre-existing models of pastoral life. We are witnessing the birth a new way of a being a parish and with it, a fresher way of redefining the U.S. Catholic experience.


 

Boston College's report on Hispanic parish ministry, Part I Michael Sean Winters | May 5, 2014 Boston College has been ahead of the curve compared to most Catholic universities when it comes to understanding the increasing importance of the Hispanic presence in the U.S. church. When I got the list of events sponsored by the university's School of Theology and Ministry this semester, fully a third of the events were either in Spanish or focused on the Latino apostolate. So it is no surprise that BC has created an extensive, groundbreaking study of Hispanic ministry in Catholic parishes. Nor is it a surprise that the driving force behind the study was Professor Hosffman Ospino, a rising star in the Catholic theological firmament known to readers of this blog most recently for his exquisitely beautiful reflections on the U.S. bishops' Mass at the border, "Our Lampedusa," which was published by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good in March. The future of the Catholic Church in the U.S. is a largely Hispanic future. This is well-known if less well understood, and this report seeks to provide the data so that Church leaders have more than intuition upon which to make their plans and decisions. In 1980, Hispanics represented 25 percent of the U.S. Catholic population and 15 percent of all parishes served Hispanic populations. Now, Hispanics are 40 percent of U.S. Catholics and growing, and fully one-quarter of all parishes serve Hispanics. The influx of Hispanic and other immigrants comes as many dioceses are closing parishes, creating a pastoral tension and challenge. As the report notes, immigrants "often rely on parishes to remain connected to their religious roots and identity while they integrate into the larger society. Parishes matter" (emphasis in original). The report continues: "Parishes are among the first places Hispanic Catholic immigrants seek when searching for a familiar experience of community in a foreign land." The celebration of their faith is part of the "Hispanic cultural ethos." There are now 29.7 million Hispanic Catholics in the United States, according to the Center for Advanced Research in the Apostolate (CARA). If the Church does not meet the needs of these Hispanic Catholics, they will be met elsewhere. A walk through my neighborhood permits one to encounter half a dozen storefront evangelical churches serving Hispanics, and there is always activity at these small enclaves of Christian faith. Fortunately, the local Catholic parish is also packed at most Spanish-language Masses, but still, one wonders if we had been more proactive in welcoming these immigrants, we might have kept those attending the storefront churches in the Catholic fold. According to the CARA data, 35.5 percent of all Catholic parishes serve a particular racial, ethnic, cultural and/or linguistic community other than EuroAsian white Catholics, and 70 percent of these parishes serve Hispanics. The numbers are staggering. As these themes indicate, the report is concerned to provide a "state of the question" analysis before advancing proposals for improvement, mimicking the Holy Father's intention of making the forthcoming


 

 

Synod of Bishops on the family an examination of the "state of the question" this year before moving on to next year's synod, which will consider what is to be done. Before the authors of the report get to these four central issues, however, they first provide a useful historical analysis of Hispanic ministry in parishes. Too often, surveys forget this important step, forget to ask, "How did we get here?" and move too quickly to the question, "Where are we?" A few key aspects of this history are essential in understanding the different challenges faced by Hispanic ministry as well as illuminating some of the contortions and distortions that plague the national debate about Hispanics and immigration. For example, the report reminds us that the very first parishes in what is now the United States were all Hispanic. Before the Hawk and the Dove arrived in Maryland bringing British Catholics to these shores, Catholic churches had been offering the sacraments for decades in what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Florida. The diocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was erected in 1513. Yet despite the fact that Hispanics were here first, the development of Hispanic parish ministry in the 20th century followed a different model, that of the national parishes for the Italians and the Polish and the Hungarians. There is a major difference, however. "The European national parish was indeed for a 'nationality' ... " the report notes. "But a mixture of Catholics from the 21 nations in Latin America, without counting Spain and Puerto Rico, call the Hispanic parish home. The Hispanic parish has often been a place of encuentro for different nationalities making the name more appropriately 'Pan-Hispanic national parish.' " The historical analysis also notes a very important post-World War II development, the emergence of a different model of ministry. "Sunday sermons and pastoral care were delivered to Spanish-speaking Catholics within existing parishes, often in the basement church. ... Hispanic communities by and large did not become clones of their Anglo counterparts but developed alongside these." The book Puerto Rican and Cuban Catholics in the U.S., 1900-1965, edited by Jay Dolan and Jaime Vidal, related this history previously, and it is important. Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York was one of the first to break with the traditional national parish model for Latino immigrants. In the years after World War II, Spellman saw his European Catholic flocks heading to the suburbs, leaving behind large parish plants in the inner city. He did not want to leave his successors with a similar need to realign resources and structures and, so, avoided the national parish model. One can understand his reasoning, but one can also recognize that all people need a place they can call their own and that, over time, if that place is a basement, it says something about the priorities of the pastoral leaders. The report also notes that in the 1960s, the combination of Vatican II reforms and political change intertwined in important ways. "A good number of priests, religious women, and lay leaders, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, in parishes serving Spanish-speaking Catholics across the country embraced the tools of


 

 

community organizing and political advocacy to advance important social causes," the report states. PADRES and Las Hermanas are cited as examples. This was a time when parish leaders anticipated Pope Francis' call to acquire the smell of the sheep, and the sheep needed Mass, to be sure, but they also needed affordable housing, access to schools, transit systems that served poor, immigrant neighborhoods, health care, and a host of other material needs. It was out of this "smell of the sheep" encounter that D.C.'s own Centro Hispanico was born, begun by a newly ordained Capuchin friar, Sean O'Malley. Although in the late 19th century it did not have a name like "community organizing" and Saul Alinsky was not yet born, there were plenty of Irish and German pastors who were the de facto civic leaders of their communities as well. O'Malley and other leaders in Hispanic ministry were also involved in the national "Encuentro" meetings in 1972, 1977, 1985 and 2000, at which Hispanic ministry strategies were discussed and debated by those who engaged in this ministry. The report notes that "parishes were at the heart of all the conversations and documents emerging from Encuentro." Again, it is interesting to see how this apostolate focused on a theme -- encuentro -- that has become a central motif in Pope Francis' discussions of the new evangelization. With that historical background, the report moves on to consider what is going on at the parish level. I will take up that topic tomorrow.

 


 

Boston College's report on Hispanic parish ministry, Part II Michael Sean Winters | May 6, 2014 Yesterday, I began examining the Boston College study on Hispanic ministry and parish life in the United States, focusing on the historical background to the survey. Today, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s look at the survey data itself. Many things jump out from the data, but if there is an overall theme, it is that parishes with Hispanic ministry are vibrant. For example, the report states: On average, 1,419 parishioners attend weekend Masses at parishes with Hispanic ministry. This is about 22 percent higher than the average for all parishes nationally (1,110 parishioners). The median for Mass attendance on weekends in parishes with Hispanic ministry is 1,000 parishioners, compared to 750 in all parishes.10 About half (48 percent) of these parishioners attending Mass are Hispanic. In more than a third (34 percent) of these communities 1,400 parishioners or more attend on a typical October weekend. Twenty percent of parishes report a total of 344 parishioners or fewer attending weekend Mass regularly. These higher rates of Mass attendance may have something to do with the concentration of the Hispanic population in urban and suburban areas. Rural parishes tend to be smaller and post lower numbers. But, there is a cart-horse quality to this observation: People who live in more densely populated areas may see the parish as a source of real community in a cultural milieu that is otherwise not conducive to an experience of community. The suburbs are not known for their community spirit, urban neighborhoods tend to experience greater social mobility and their populations are more transient. It is in small towns that community is a given, where one knows oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighbors from the town meeting or the Memorial Day parade and BBQ or a visit to the General Store. So, these higher rates of participation exist where they are needed. 63% of the parishes that have Hispanic ministry also report that there is more than one priest at the parish and one of those priests is likely to be Hispanic himself. Yet, staffing these parishes is a challenge because they tend to lack financial resources. The report notes: On average, responding parishes receive $7,744 in weekly parish offertory collections (median of $5,000). This is 15.7 percent lower than the average $9,191 collected in all parishes nationally. On average, $1,502 of the weekly offertory in responding parishes comes from parishioners at Spanish language Masses (median of $840). Study findings reveal that


the higher the percentage of Hispanic parishioners attending Mass in a parish the smaller the total of revenues and expenses. There are likely two explanations for this lower rate of financial support from the parishioners. First, Hispanic Catholics as a group are less affluent than European Catholics, especially because immigrant Latinos often face dire economic challenges. (I am sure that similar disparities would have been discerned in Maryland in the mid-nineteenth century between the contributions at parishes that hosted some of Maryland’s old, wealthy planter class and those that served the needs of Irish immigrants along the wharves of Baltimore.) Second, in Latin America, parishes typically have alternate sources of income from longtime endowments and/or are served by a religious community that provides economic support for the parish. As well, the report notes that most ministers at parishes with Hispanic ministry acknowledge that more must be done to fully integrate the Hispanic community into the life of the parish. Most ministers reported that such integration was minimal. Here is a clear avenue for greater focus and effort. Hispanic parishes are fertile ground for apostolic movements, especially the Charismatic Renewal movement: Fully one half of all parishes with Hispanic ministry reported hosting a Charismatic Renewal movement. Cursillo, the Knights of Columbus, and the Legion of Mary are present in a third of parishes, while groups like the Movimiento Familiar Christiano and Jovenes para Christo are represented in 13 percent of all parishes. These movements are conduits for a more intentional discipleship. The report states: Two-thirds of parishes with Hispanic ministry say that at least one apostolic movement at their parish has prayer groups rooted in the movement’s particular spirituality. In 53 percent of parishes, apostolic movements form small faith communities. Forty-eight percent indicate apostolic movements choose their own catechetical materials. Fewer, 36 percent, say apostolic movements celebrate Mass on a regular basis inspired in their spirituality. In 34 percent of parishes a priest formed in the spirituality of an apostolic movement accompanies members on a regular basis. One in five indicates that a deacon formed in the spirituality of the movement does so. Fifteen percent of Hispanic ministers report vocations to the priesthood inspired by an apostolic movement. Nine percent indicate vocations to vowed religious life. Most pastors know that most of the work of a parish is undertaken by a minority of parishioners, and that such groups of dedicated parishioners often have diverse spiritualities and varying levels of attachment to the life of the Church outside their movement. I know these movements make some people nervous but they are a sign of new life, and they are to be encouraged and, as the report states, they need to be better integrated into the life of the parish. “Ministry in these parochial communities will benefit significantly from partnering


with the apostolic movements in them and their leaders to facilitate effective evangelizing initiatives among Hispanic Catholics. More attention is to be given to the integration of these groups into the larger ministerial strategies in the parish so they do not function as independent, perhaps isolated units,” the report states. In a nutshell, this survey illustrates what many of us have long suspected: Parishes with Hispanic ministries are critical today to the communities they serve and will shape the future of the U.S. Catholic Church in ways large and small. It is interesting that the survey shows the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the second most well attended liturgical celebration after Holy Week, which was not the case in the Church in the U.S. thirty years ago! At a time when we think of the necessity of parish closings, we should instead be thinking of parish realignments to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Tomorrow, I will look at what the report tells us about Pastoral Leaders and Faith Formation in Hispanic parishes.    


Boston College's report on Hispanic parish ministry, Part III Michael Sean Winters | May 7, 2014 The last two days, I have been looking at Boston College’s important new study of Hispanic parish ministry in the U.S. Monday, I looked at the historical backdrop and yesterday at the study’s examination of parish structures. Today, I will conclude this series by looking at what the study says about pastoral leadership and faith formation, with a few concluding observations. Pastoral leadership includes pastors, directors of Hispanic ministry, Directors of Religious Education (DREs) and permanent deacons. It is interesting to note that the two groups for which ordination is a requirement – pastor and deacon – are younger than their counterparts in non-Hispanic ministry. The average age of pastors working in Hispanic ministry is 58 years old, compared to 62 years old for diocesan clergy as a whole and 66 for priests who are members of religious orders. 68% of Hispanic deacons were ordained after the year 2000 and one quarter were ordained after 2010. I am not sure why this is, but I suspect that the clergy in the Hispanic community, like the people in the pews, tend to be younger. As well, in the past few decades, many dioceses have required ordinands to learn Spanish in seminary, a requirement that did not pertain to those ordained thirty or forty years ago, so those pasturing in the Hispanic community can only be drawn from these younger ranks. In any event, we can hope that these younger clergy are going to inspire more vocations to the priesthood and the deaconate in their ministries. Many ministers are not themselves Hispanic. 68 percent of pastors doing Hispanic ministry were born in the U.S. and only 10 percent of these pastors self-identify as Hispanic, which seems terribly low to me. As well, only 69 percent report that they are proficient in Spanish. How then do they minister to a Spanishspeaking flock? What does “proficient” mean in this context? By contrast, ninety-seven percent of permanent deacons serving in Hispanic ministry speak Spanish and 66 percent also serve the Englishspeaking communities in their parish. This leads me to think that deacons in parishes with both Spanish and English speaking communities are the linchpin for successful parish ministry. Anecdotally, back home in Connecticut, there are two adjacent towns, each with a Catholic mission church served by a different parish. One of the mission churches is thriving and the other is dying a slow death. The key difference as far as I can tell is that the thriving parish has a permanent deacon from the town and he keeps the place hopping. Among directors of Hispanic ministry who are not pastors, the numbers yield some interesting findings. “Thirty-nine percent are priests, 37 percent lay (22 percent female and 15 percent male), 18 percent vowed religious (12 percent sisters and 6 percent brothers), and 6 percent deacons. Sixty-four percent self-identify as Hispanic,” the report states. But, what I found very shocking where the numbers with dollar signs. “Twenty-eight percent advance this ministry in parishes as volunteers or unpaid ministers,” the report notes. “The average annual salary of a Parish Director of Hispanic Ministry is $17,449. This average includes volunteers and ministers earning $0. Among those who are paid for their ministry, the average annual salary is $24,078.” I know that none of us who work in church-related activities do it for the money and everyone expects to be paid less in order to do the work we feel the Lord calls us to. And, I know too, that 39% of these ministers are priests who have their room and board paid for, benefits, etc. Still, for the 37 percent of lay ministers, who can raise a family on $24,078 a year? Religious education is another under-resourced area. For DREs, “Sixty percent are lay women and 16 percent lay men,” according to the report. “Seven percent are vowed women religious and 3 percent nonordained vowed religious men. Ten percent are priests and 4 percent permanent deacons.” 21 percent of DREs are volunteers. The average salary is $21,218 and, not counting those who are volunteers, it is $26,857. 41 percent of DREs have some graduate level education. Only 25 percent lack a college degree.


For that level of education, and what is assuredly a crushing workload, the compensation is so low that surely many people who would want to work in this field find it impossible to do so because of the low pay scale. Note to bishops: Maybe you should take the money you spend on the Fortnight for Freedom and pay your DREs and Hispanic ministers more! Interestingly, the survey found that 41 percent of bishops in dioceses responding to the survey speak Spanish. The percentage in the West – 76% - is remarkably higher than in the Northeast – 24%. Many dioceses have Offices for Hispanic ministry that undertake tasks such as training clergy from Latin America and coordinating youth activities for Spanish-speaking ministries. Religious orders are heavily involved in Hispanic ministry and have been for decades. The report concludes its section on leadership with this observation: When considering the race and ethnicity of pastoral agents involved in Hispanic ministry at top-level positions of diocesan and parish leadership, we observe that most are non-Hispanic white. Only 10 percent of active bishops are Hispanic. Twenty-two percent of pastors, 33 percent of all priests (diocesan and vowed religious), and 42 percent of vowed religious women reported as doing Hispanic ministry in parishes are identified as Hispanic. Beyond the world of Hispanic ministry, the number of Hispanics in such positions of leadership in parishes and dioceses drops significantly. The fact that many non-Hispanics are fully committed to Hispanic ministry reveals in many ways a great sense of mutuality and care in ministry. This also models the kind of pastoral leadership that is needed in a culturally diverse Church. Many Hispanic pastoral leaders do likewise. Compared to the overall size of the Hispanic Catholic population, however, the rather small number of Hispanic pastoral agents in higher decisionmaking positions in parishes and dioceses invites serious discernment. Pastoral leaders must be multi-cultural individuals and most already are. But, the report’s observations point to a cognitive challenge. We tend to look at anything new, and the growth of the Hispanic Catholic population is something relatively new, and we think of ways to help and support. But, Pope Francis reminds us that the culture of encounter is a two-way street. Until we have more pastoral leaders who are of Hispanic origin, overseeing ministries that are not focused on Hispanic populations, we may miss that point. It is not just us established Europeans who should help the native born and immigrant Hispanic population. They have help to give us, we have things to learn from them. Until this is understood, the danger of paternalism exists. The final section of the report deals with faith formation, and I do not want to go into it in detail because I have gone on long enough. But, one number jumps out: “Only four in 10 parishes with Hispanic ministry have formal programs to minister specifically to Hispanic youth.” Hispanic youth are the future of the Catholic Church in this country and how will we win the hearts and minds of those youth in the other 60 percent of parishes is we have nothing to attract them? Where will we get vocations? How will they come to know the faith? Who will walk with them in a culture that is something less than attentive to the dictates of the Gospel? This report from Boston College should be at the top of the agenda when the USCCB meets next month in New Orleans or, if that is too soon, when the bishops meet in November in Baltimore. One of the facts this report makes clear is that most Hispanic Catholics are born in the U.S. – even if immigration stopped tomorrow, Hispanics would still be the future of the Church in this country. If the Church spent as much attention on cultivating the faith of Hispanics as it does on fighting the culture wars, debating who should be denied communion and the quality of the translation of the Missal, the future of the Church in this country would assuredly be more promising. But, the Spirit moves where it wills and this report provides plenty of grounds to conclude that the Spirit is moving in the Hispanic community in this country. Our friends at Boston College have performed a great service to the Church in assembling this data and helping us to make sense of it. Let’s hope it garners the attention it deserves.


American Catholicism MICHAEL SEAN WINTERS

Ups and downs At the very moment when the Catholic Church in America is becoming more Latino, it is also losing Hispanics. An authoritative new study concludes that greater effort is needed to prevent them drifting away from their faith

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he numbers are staggering. There are now 29.7 million Hispanic Catholics in the United States, despite the fact that a significant percentage of them leave the Church either before coming to the US or once they arrive. Hispanic Catholics are 40 per cent of all Catholics. Much of the growth in the Latino Catholic population is built on the birthrate of USborn Hispanics: if immigration stopped tomorrow, Hispanics would still become a majority of all Catholics within a few years. “The present and the future of American Catholicism largely depends on how well the Church in the US serves Hispanic Catholics,”

says Hosffman Ospino, professor of theology at Jesuit-run Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Ospino is the principal author of a new study of US parishes with Hispanic ministry that was released last week. “This research project was an opportunity to better learn about parishes with Hispanic ministry and contribute important statistics to realities about which many pastoral leaders speak but often lack enough data to adequately analyse,” he told me. His team sent out questionnaires to all parishes with Hispanic ministry and followed up with bilingual phone calls. Nearly 600 pastors responded, yieding a 13.1 per

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Lecture 2014

Bishop Kevin Dowling ‘From South to North: lessons for the Church from the developing world’ Born in Pretoria and ordained as a Redemptorist priest in 1967 Kevin Dowling was appointed the Bishop of Rustenburg in 1990. He has ministered in various parts of South Africa, including townships in Cape Town and Pretoria and has been at the forefront of the Church’s response to the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Thursday 26 June 2014 at 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm) at Cathedral Hall Westminster Nearest Railway/ Underground station: Victoria Admission is by advance ticket only at a cost of £15 (£12 concessions). Ticket price includes a drinks reception to follow the lecture. For tickets, please call: 020 8748 8484 or email: plee@thetablet.co.uk The Tablet Lecture 2014 is held in conjunction with the Denis Hurley Association, which has also arranged for Bishop Dowling to speak in Edinburgh on 24 June and in Birmingham on 25 June.

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Members of the Hispanic community of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia process into the Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Photo: CNS cent response rate and a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points, in line with most polling. Similar response rates came from directors of religious education and directors of Hispanic ministry, both clerical and lay. The results suggest promise and peril lie ahead. Ospino says the study shows “strong signs of vibrancy in parishes with Hispanic ministry, which tells me that the US parish structure is here to stay for a much longer time. We need to support Hispanics, as well as Catholics from other ethnic groups, who are bringing new life to these communities. Sometimes parish closures and mergers may suggest that parishes are not viable any more. This is a premature call.” Parishes with Hispanic ministry tend to be larger and show signs of great vibrancy. “On average, 1,419 parishioners attend weekend Masses at parishes with Hispanic ministry,” the report states. “This is about 22 per cent higher than the average for all parishes nationally (1,110 parishioners). The median for Mass attendance on weekends in parishes with Hispanic ministry is 1,000 parishioners, compared to 750 in all parishes.” This higher attendance rate is partly attributable to the fact that parishes with Hispanic ministry tend to be located in urban areas. Sixty-three per cent report that more than one priest serves the parish, another indication of urban or suburban location. But these positive trends do not translate into bigger parish collections. According to the study, these are some 15 per cent lower than the average collected in parishes nationally; the higher the percentage of Hispanic parishioners attending Mass in a parish, the smaller the total of revenues and expenses. This lack of resources translates into low


wage rates for those engaged in Hispanic ministry. “Financial and human resources are rather meagre to meet the increasing demands of these communities,” says Ospino. “This affects particularly Hispanic young families and Hispanic children and youth. Campaigns such as Catholics Come Home [in the US] are very important and key to the new evangelisation. I think we urgently need a parallel campaign called Invest in Hispanic Catholics Who Are Home. Many Hispanics are coming to parishes and can benefit from more resources for evangelisation. We need to train many more Hispanic leaders theologically and ministerially to assume leadership positions in dioceses, parishes and organisations.” The need for renewed commitment to Hispanic ministry was demonstrated by the release of another report last week, from the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington DC. Pew found that only just over half of Latinos identify themselves as Catholic, compared to 67 per cent in 2010. That number has been challenged by Mark Silk, professor of religion in public life at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, who works on the American Religious Identity Survey (Aris). In 2010, Aris, which was almost four times as large as the Pew survey, set the number of Hispanic Catholics in the US much lower than Pew. Silk estimates that instead of a 12-point decline in the number identifying as Catholic over three years, there has been an eight-point decline over seven years. Twelve points or eight points, there is still a great deal of decline in Catholic religious affiliation among Hispanics. When asked by Pew why they leave, and where they go, the answers mirror those given by non-Hispanic Catholics. Offered six options, 55 per cent of Hispanic respondents who have switched their faith or stopped going to the church in which they were born said they “drifted away” and 52 per cent said they stopped believing in the teachings of their childhood religion.

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ust under a third said they found a different congregation that helps them more than their childhood faith, close to a quarter said their religious change was rooted in a “deep personal crisis,” 19 per cent cited moving to a new community as the reason for changing their affiliation, and around 10 per cent cited the fact that they had married someone from a different religion. Approximately the same number left the Catholic Church for an Evangelical church as left it to become religiously unaffiliated. The rise of the “nones” – those with no religious affiliation – has been a significant development in US religion since the 1990s. But the lack of a specific religious allegiance does not indicate any hostility to religion. According to the Pew study, 20 per cent of Hispanics who do not identify with any particular religion insist that religion is “very important” to them, and 29 per cent of the Hispanic “nones” report that they pray daily. There is a reservoir of religiosity even among the religiously unaffiliated. “Yes, the culture (Continued on page 13.)

JOANNA MOORHEAD

‘When there is nothing else we can do, there is always this one final thing: we can pray’ Like many people with early cancer (I am told), I am finding it impossible to adjust to the idea of being ill. Mostly that’s because I am patently not ill at all, not in the slightest. Last week I was swimming regularly (my usual 30 lengths); yesterday I cycled the three miles into central London for tea, and back. I have been penning my articles and tending to my daughters exactly as normal; the only thing that seems to be different is that I keep having to go to talk to doctors about my left breast, and the tumour therein. But then, six weeks into this strange episode of my life, I got my first solid proof that I really was ill. I was at evening Mass, minding my own business and vaguely thinking about saying a prayer or two, when to my astonishment I heard my name being mentioned from the altar. It was the bidding prayers, and the reader was running through the list of poorly parishioners. And there I was, officially – and so, I suppose, definitely – ill. I was also, naturally, embarrassed, since (as I’ve explained) I look completely fit and well. I kept my head down, mumbled my “Lord graciously hear us”, and hoped no one else had noticed that I was On the Sick List. They had. After Mass, lots of friends – really lots of them, which was quite lovely – came up to talk to me and to give me a hug and to ask how I was (fine, naturally). And what almost all of them said, and have continued to say since, in cards and notes they have very kindly put through my letter box, is that they are praying for me. Ditto my aunt, who is a Carmelite nun in Africa (that’s a long story, for another time), and many other friends and relatives in London and the rest of Britain and indeed, in other far-flung parts of the planet. All of which got me wondering what it is to be prayed for, and what prayer actually does. Of course, it’s lovely to be remembered, and it’s wonderful that people care; but what does praying for someone actually do,

and what does it mean? We pray for our children and the people who are close to us as a matter of course, but we tend to pray for our friends and our wider circle only when they are in difficulties. And where we pray for people we don’t actually know, it’s usually because they are going through some extremely traumatic or tumultuous experience. So another bidding prayer at church last Sunday was for the missing Nigerian schoolgirls; and in my family, in our bedtime prayers, they have been given a mention; and I’m sure that right across the world, they are currently being remembered in many individual and family prayers. We’ve all heard of the power of prayer, and many of us believe or hope in the power of prayer. Otherwise why would we pray? But what I can’t help wondering is what sort of God would favour one cancer victim – or one group of missing people – over another because they had lots of people to pray for them? Is prayer a reminder to God of an individual’s needs or difficulties? Is it a kind of celestial lobbying – in other words, the more of us are doing it, the more God might heed the call? Is it a flagging-up of top concerns and predicaments, a way of helping God to see the really urgent things as opposed to the also-rans in his or her massive in-box? No one knows. Which leads to the only thing we really do know about prayer, which is this: it’s about faith, and only that. When there is nothing else that we can do, there is always this one final thing: we can pray. And we often do pray, even people who never imagined in a million years that they would. Because feelings about God are never black and white: the faithful sometimes doubt; the doubters sometimes believe. Like most people, I sometimes doubt and I sometimes believe. But even if I am in a doubting frame of mind, I am very, very grateful for prayers. It’s a way of saying to someone that you are thinking lots about them; it’s a way of acknowledging that you take their situation seriously; it’s a way of saying you want to do something to help. Where my friends aren’t believers, they have sent me “positive vibes” or “good vibrations”. And all of that helps too, it really does, despite the fact that (as I think you’ve probably gathered) I’m absolutely not ill, not even the tiniest little bit. 17 May 2014

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Across 7 Language of some Sephardic Jews, based on medieval Spanish (6) 8 Distinguished Umbrian family of Pope Clement XI (6) 10 Term, meaning “delegates”, applied to various dignitaries in the Eastern Churches (7) 11 King ----- The Peaceful (943-975) supported the revival of monasticism (5) 12 Thomas ---- (1882-1924) formed Triangle Pictures in 1915 with Mack Sennett and D.W. Griffith (4) 13 “… superfluum videretur et vanum ----- pro mortuis …” (2 Maccabees 12:44), Second Mass For the Dead: 2 November (Tridentine) (5) 17 “-----, for I also had my hour” (“The Donkey”: Chesterton) (5) 18 In the 1969-72 TV cartoon series The Clangers, a dragon came round to distribute this (4) Please send your answers to: Crossword Competition 17 May, The Tablet, 1 King Street Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London W6 0GY. Please include your full name, telephone number and email address, and a mailing address. A copy of Bible: the story of the King James Version 1611-2011, by Gordon Campbell, OUP, will go to the sender of the first correct entry drawn at random random on Friday 30 May. l The answers to this week’s puzzles and the crossword winner’s name will appear in the 7 June issue.

Down 1 Title by which Cyanistes Caeruleus is better-known (4,3) 2 First word in title of Australian national anthem (7) 3 “----- or snee”, obsolete expression meaning; “fight with knives” (5) 4 Seventeenth-century composer whose “Miserere” was sung only in the Sistine Chapel in Holy Week (7) 5 Musical term meaning: “In a slow and dignified manner” (5) 6 Walls between windows or other adjoining openings (5) 9 Instrument formerly used for measuring altitudes of stars and calculating latitude in navigation (9) 14 Species of butterfly; large, orange and black (7) 15 According to a song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, the melancholy poet should “consent to be more” this (7) 16 A Jewish native of Alexandria, befriended in Ephesus by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:24) (7) 19 Lengthy poems narrating heroic deeds (5) 20 Italian physicist, Enrico -----, on whose surname is based the name of a subatomic particle with a spin of a half-integer (5) 21 One of the false gods worshipped by the Israelites (5)

Solution to the 26 April crossword No. 407 Across: 7 Rough; 8 Egotist; 10 Coroner; 11 Drawn; 12 Kith and Kin; 16 Long Finger; 20 Pylon; 21 Cistern; 23 Segways; 24 Macho. Down: 1 Price; 2 Furry; 3 Chin; 4 Dearth; 5 Condense; 6 Hijacks; 9 Tuning; 13 Infantas; 14 Slopes; 15 Unplugs; 17 Nicest; 18 Bench; 19 Onion; 22 Sump. Winner: Sr Amicia Eyston, of Kensington, west London.

Sudoku | Challenging

The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011

n Michael Sean Winters reports for The Tablet from Washington DC. s Each 3 x 3 box, each row and each column must contain all the numbers 1 to 9. Solution to the 26 April puzzle

For further information visit www.oup.com The world’s largest University Press

s

1

22 The only sculpture Michelangelo ever signed (5) 23 Alternatives to petrol derived from living matter (7) 24 Acronym for EU Bishops’ Commission (6) 25 Earliest biographer of St Francis of Assisi, Thomas of ------ (6)

(Continued from page 7.) is becoming more secular and materialistic,” says Fr Allan Deck, SJ, of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “But the culture, especially Hispanic culture, still has resources of religious sensibility.” Deck, who served as the first staff director of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity, believes that Catholic leaders must seek new models of ministry, especially with Hispanics. He notes that many Hispanics leave the Church before they migrate to the US. “The findings of both surveys indicate that there is an urgency in the reform Pope Francis is trying to promote,” Deck told me. The Church needs a “missionary model” of ministry instead of the institutional framework we have. In Latin America, urban ministry initiatives like the Pastoral Urbana illustrate the success of efforts to take account of urban and modern realities in ministry, according to Deck. He notes that Pope Francis, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, encouraged such ministries that go beyond traditional parish structures and approach ministry by “life sectors” rather than geography. “They have ministries to youth, and to workers, and to professionals, that overlap with the parish model,” Deck explains. “They even have a basic Christian community of Goths in Mexico City. These people might not be well received in a parish, but the priest went to them.” Professor Ospino agrees with the need to re-imagine parish ministry but thinks it is a profound mistake to discount the ongoing viability of parishes. He is quick to point to a quote from Pope Francis: “The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community (Evangelii Gaudium, 28).” “It is not enough to say that we are aware of the Hispanic presence in our parishes and dioceses and do what we can,” says Ospino. “We are beyond that point. We must generously invest in Hispanic Catholics at all levels now, especially in their parishes and in the organisations specialised in ministry to this population.” As Notre Dame theology professor Virgilio Elizondo told The Washington Post: “Where the Church is active, churches are packed beyond capacity.”

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As Hispanics approach majority in U.S. church, needs for ministry loom By Patricia Zapor May 6, 2014 CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (CNS) --- Training of pastoral leaders and provision of most other resources for Hispanic ministry aren't keeping up with the fast-approaching time when Hispanics will make up the majority of Catholics in the United States, according to a new report. "Hispanic Catholics have reached critical mass in the church," said Hosffman Ospino, lead author of the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry. He said 55 percent of all U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Hispanic and Hispanics account for 71 percent of the growth in the U.S. Catholic population since 1960. "Ignoring the growth of Hispanic Catholics in the United States would be self-defeating for our churches and schools," he added. Ospino, assistant professor of theology and ministry at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, presented his findings from the first major survey of how parishes are handling the rapid demographic shift May 5 at the college. Hispanics currently account for about 40 percent of all U.S. Catholics and their share of the population is continuing to increase. Nationwide, 4,358 parishes -- almost one-quarter of the U.S. total -- were identified as having some sort of organized ministry to Hispanics. The study cited many signs of vitality in parish Hispanic ministry -- including youth, a strong permanent diaconate system and thriving apostolic movements. But other areas require urgent attention, it said. Among the "urgent dynamics" of parish Hispanic ministry that are in need of attention, it listed: disproportionately limited financial and human resources, a "disquieting gap" in Hispanic enrollment in Catholic schools, and a cohort of pastoral leaders who are approaching retirement age with too few people in training to replace them. The study pointed out that the oldest Catholic parishes under the flag of the United States were and continue to be Hispanic. In the Southwest, a vibrant Catholic Church existed long before the United States acquired parts of Mexico, making for Hispanic-dominated parishes that predated the development of "national" parishes. National parishes were created in the 19th century to minister to European immigrants such as Germans, Italians and Poles, intended to be a temporary system for helping newcomers maintain their faith connections while they integrated. As the study notes, "when absorbing the annexed Mexican territories, long-standing Hispanic parishes were typically treated as 'only' national parishes," although many different nationalities fall under the cluster of Hispanic. The report is a summary of the findings of a national study, conducted by the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate of Georgetown University. Several future reports will delve into angles such as education and leadership training, Ospino told Catholic News Service. The study is based on responses to surveys sent to diocesan and parish leaders who work in Hispanic ministry. Parishes were counted as offering Hispanic ministry if they offer Mass or religious education in Spanish, for example, even if they don't formally have a Hispanic ministry program, Ospino said. Other elements in the report include discussion of leadership structures and leadership development; apostolic movements such as Cursillo and Communion and Liberation; and programming and education for children, youth and adults In an event at Boston College where the study was released, Mark Gray, of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington, said one conclusion he draws from the study that should catch the attention of church leaders is "if you don't do Hispanic ministry well, then you face an uncertain future."


Unlike past generations of immigrants, he said, people today have many more choices in where they can go to worship, whether another Catholic parish that offers something different, a non-Catholic Christian church that is welcoming or even the growing phenomena of dropping all religious affiliation. "We call them drive-bys," Gray said, because people will drive by a church that doesn't offer what they need and go elsewhere. Timothy Matovina, a University of Notre Dame professor of theology and executive director of that school's Institute for Latino Studies, pointed to some of the study's findings he thinks are significant: that two-thirds of the pastors doing Hispanic ministry are not Hispanic; that most of them got any training they have in Hispanic ministry on their own; and that just 13 percent said they received relevant training in Hispanic ministry in the seminary. Matovina also observed that the immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean who are adding to the surge of Hispanics in the church are arriving to find a different sort of church than did earlier waves of immigrants. "A hundred years ago, immigrants arrived to an immigrant church," he said. "Now they are arriving to a middle-class church." It will be important to the future of the church for the more established parts of the church, where there is more money and power, to think of the growing sector of less-wealthy Hispanics as deserving of their support as part of the same church, Ospino said. Ospino told a story to illustrate how that's relevant to meeting the pastoral needs of a working-class or poor group of newcomers. He described a parish with a high level of immigrants that was in financial crisis. The parish was administered by a religious order that also ran three wealthier, nonimmigrant parishes in the same region. The religious order leaders went to the three wealthier parishes asking for support to keep the immigrant parish open. "They said no," Ospino said. In a subsequent interview with CNS, Ospino said perspectives such as that of the nonimmigrant parishes in that story illustrate a basic flaw in how many American Catholics think about the growth of Hispanics toward dominance in the church. "We need to shift the language in the church," Ospino said. "We can't simply treat Hispanics as a subgroup of the church anymore. In many parts of the country, to speak about Hispanic Catholics is to speak about the majority of the church."

 


More U.S. Latinos shift and drift outside the Catholic Church By Cathy Lynn Grossman May 7, 2014 WASHINGTON (RNS) A new report on the “Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos” reads very much like a biography of Fernando Alcantar. Like six in 10 Hispanic Catholics in the U.S., he was born in Mexico, where “you are Catholic as much as you are Mexican. You like jalapenos and worship the Virgin of Guadalupe,” he said. But once he moved to California after high school, his faith journey diverged — and derailed. Today, Alcantar, 36 calls himself a humanist. The Pew survey report released Wednesday (May 7) is subtitled: “Nearly One in Four Latinos are former Catholics.” And Alcantar is one of them. Hispanics are still a pillar of American Catholicism — fully a third of the U.S. church today. And their share is climbing with the overall growth of the Hispanic population. More than half (55 percent) of the nation’s estimated 19.6 million Hispanics identify as Catholic, according to Pew’s report, which uses “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably. But that’s 12 percentage points below 2010, when 67 percent of Latinos surveyed said they were Catholic, the survey found. “Everyone was surprised in some way by the findings, the first time the size of the decline in Hispanic Catholics has been measured in depth,” said Pew research associate Jessica Hamar Martínez. “If both (immigration and shifting) trends continue, a day could come when a majority of Catholics in the United States will be Hispanic, even though the majority of Hispanics might no longer be Catholic,” the survey said. According to the new survey: * Nearly one in three Hispanics (32 percent) said they no longer belong to the major religious tradition in which they were raised (not including changes among Protestant denominations). Among foreign-born Hispanics, half switched faiths before arriving in the United States. * 18 percent of Hispanics today claim no religious identity, up from 10 percent in 2010. “I think people were expecting the growth in evangelicals among former Catholics but the rise of the unaffiliated was unexpected,” said senior researcher Cary Funk. * 22 percent of Hispanics now say they are Protestant. This includes 16 percent who call themselves evangelical, up from 12 percent in 2010. * The movement out of the Catholic Church is led by the young and middle-aged. Only 45 percent of Hispanics under age 30 are Catholic. And four in 10 (37 percent) of those young Catholics say they can imagine leaving the Catholic Church someday. * Most (seven in 10) Hispanics who left the church for any new direction left before the age of 24. That sounds familiar to Alcantar, of El Centro, Calif. He left Catholicism at 18 and Christianity altogether by the time he was 32. Two of his three siblings are agnostic; only one sister remains devoutly Catholic. Among ex-Catholics who turned to another faith, Pew found many have turned to the enthusiastic worship of Pentecostal and charismatic or “renewalist” faiths that celebrate gifts of the Holy Spirit such as divine healing, receiving direct revelation from God and “a strong sense of God’s direct, often miraculous, role in everyday life.” That rang true for Alcantar’s parents. His mother, Teresa Foucar, is now an evangelical Protestant, and his father became a deacon with an Assemblies of God church. Among ex-Catholics, most told Pew they either “drifted away” (55 percent) or they just stopped believing in the teachings of their childhood faith (52 percent). ”There’s rarely, if ever, a single reason,” Funk said.


Pew drew a wide range of responses to an open question on why people moved. Only 9 percent said they switched because they married someone who practiced a different religion. Just 3 percent mentioned the clergy sex abuse scandal as a reason for switching. Timothy Matovina, a University of Notre Dame theology professor who is familiar with the new survey, is skeptical that the out-the-door trend can be reversed, particularly for millennials. “Among all young people, it’s a challenge to keep them in a religion,” said Matovina, executive director of the Institute for Latino Studies. “Can we stem the tide among Hispanics? I doubt it. Can we stem the tide among non-Hispanics? I doubt it. It’s not only Catholics who are struggling. Everybody is struggling.” Matovina observed that American children don’t grow up with deeply embedded cultural Catholicism. And even those who did — such as immigrants from Mexico, and Central and South America — need more than that to remain with the Catholic Church. “They need a Catholicism of commitment, one based on a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that enlivens their faith and makes them stronger in this culture of religious choice that is the United States,” Matovina said. “The real story is all the switching in a pluralistic culture. The hardest switch is the first one. But then you can do it again and again with less cultural dissonance.” Alcantar’s path illustrates Matovina’s concern. He was initially drawn to evangelical Christianity for the strong sense of community and the beautiful promise of a personal relationship with Jesus, he recalled. He graduated from a Pentecostal college, Azusa Pacific University, switched to a nondenominational evangelical church, then went to work leading youth groups for the United Methodist Church. He did international mission work with believers of many denominations, had a Mormon girlfriend and finally landed on a pile of questions. “The emotional connection between me and Jesus and God was finally broken. I became angry at God for all the misery, poverty and discrimination I saw in the world. I finally allowed my doubts to come to the front burner,” said Alcantar. The Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, a Jesuit theologian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said the findings are custom-made for Pope Francis’ mission to the church. “Many groups reaching out to Catholics do have some level of success. But it’s not because people want to leave the church but that the church is not present to them,” he said. “Pope Francis’ reform is that the church must be totally focused on outreach. It has to go to the parks and the plazas and strip malls and be present in the workplace.” The Pew Hispanic survey was conducted in English and Spanish between May 24 and July 28, 2013, with 5,103 Hispanic adults, ages 18 and older. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points overall. Pew’s findings dovetail with another major study released this week, “The National Study of Catholic Parishes With Hispanic Ministry.” Hosffman Ospino, a professor of Hispanic ministry at Boston College, and researchers from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate issued the study Monday. It detailed signs of vibrancy, such as the high percentage of young Hispanic families. It also found signs of concern. The nation’s one-in-four Catholic parishes that are Hispanic “struggle with finance and personnel,” many with no special training in Hispanic ministry, Ospino said. “One of our hopes is that if the Catholic Church invests more in family and youth, that these young people will stay,” he said. “Secularization is a major threat to our future.”

 


Boston College Releases Groundbreaking Study on Hispanic Catholics May 9, 2014 — The explosive growth of Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. is overwhelming the Catholic Church, according to a landmark Boston College study of Hispanic Catholic parishes. The newlyreleased report, conducted in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, found that Hispanic Catholic communities are in need of change across areas of education, language, geography, ministry and outreach. The study was covered by major publications and news outlets, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly, National Catholic Reporter and The Washington Post. Nearly one in every four Catholic parishes in the U.S. provides some form of organized ministry to Hispanics, but demand for services at parishes with Hispanic ministries exceeds available resources on a scale never before seen by the Church, the study found. Parishes and dioceses with Hispanic ministry need to assign the highest priority to the development of sound strategies to invest in those ministries, said Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Assistant Professor Hosffman Ospino, lead author of the report. The survey highlighted the necessity of additional programs to prepare Hispanic priests and church leaders. “A new generation of Hispanic leaders in the Church is emerging,” said Ospino. “The question is: is the Catholic Church ready for this?” According to Ospino, about one in five pastoral leaders serving Hispanic Catholics in major ministerial positions in parishes and dioceses are unpaid. “While clergy and vowed religious count on established support networks, a significant number of these unpaid leaders are lay women and men,” he said. “Parishes and dioceses need to urgently attend to questions of fair compensation and parity with non-Hispanic ministries.” The changes are also shifting the geographic balance of influence for the Church in America, according to the study. While 61 percent of all Catholic parishes are currently located in the Midwest and Northeast, the fast-growing Hispanic population is taking hold in the South and West, where 61 percent of parishes with Hispanic ministry are now located. The Church needs to develop a strategic plan to welcome and serve this predominantly Catholic ethnic group in the U.S. or risk alienating them, according to Ospino.


“The secularization of Hispanics is the biggest threat to the future of the Catholic Church in America” May 5, 2014 By Deacon Greg Kandra The future of Catholicism in America rests heavily on the church’s ability to attract and retain young Hispanics whose connection to secular life is stronger than to the faith that sustained their parents, according to a new national study led by Boston College researchers. The three-year study, which will be released Monday, said that failing to bring more young Hispanics into the church has broad consequences at a time when Latinos constitute 40 percent of all Catholics in the United States. “The secularization of Hispanics is the biggest threat to the future of the Catholic Church in America,” said Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor of theology and ministry at Boston College and lead author of the report. “We run the risk of losing a whole generation of Catholics.” Just 3 percent of Hispanic Catholic children attend church schools and a declining number of Hispanics under age 30 attend Mass. The report, titled “The National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry,” is the first national study to focus exclusively on Catholic parishes with Hispanic ministries, Ospino said. Through broad surveys and personal interviews, the researchers sought to document the scope of the Hispanic influx, which is responsible for 70 percent of the church’s growth since the 1960s. “If it weren’t for the Hispanic influx, the Catholic Church in the US would be in major decline,” Ospino said. Researchers note that the arrival of 40 million Hispanic immigrants over the past half-century is 10 times the immigration rate of another ethnic group that transformed the church: Irish emigres from 1860 to 1960. The report, conducted in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, will be released in Boston at a gathering of prominent Catholic leaders, and it comes at a moment when the church for the first time is led by a pontiff from South America, Pope Francis. The study makes a clear call to action, urging the church to develop a strategy to address the issues facing Hispanics and their parishes. The issues take on added importance as the Catholic Church becomes more reliant on Hispanics, specialists said. By 2050, Hispanics will probably account for more than 60 percent of American Catholics. “It will be an entirely different Catholic experience,” Ospino said. But without a shift in focus, the parish structure in the United States will decline dramatically, as it did in Europe, Ospino said. “Somehow, the church needs to change strategies and attitudes toward Hispanics in the parishes,” Ospino said. “It’s something the church has to come to terms with.” Because the stakes are so high, efforts are underway to bolster the church’s presence in the Hispanic community. Mar Munoz-Visoso, executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the group is working to increase the number of Hispanic seminarians and priests, and she said that Hispanic offices have been established in dioceses throughout the United States. “The Catholic Church in the US has made strides in meeting the spiritual needs of Hispanics, yet the needs of such a growing and huge community require the church to do more,” she said. Ken Johnson-Mondragón, director of research and publications at the Institute for Faith and Life, a nonprofit Catholic leadership institute that specializes in ministry for young Hispanics, said reaching younger generations has been a “major preoccupation” for Hispanic ministries. “The reach with the next generation is not very strong,” he said. “It doesn’t hold the attraction.”


In a secular society in which religion seems to be “on the back burner of life” and parents are struggling to pass their faith on to their children, churches face a stern challenge, Johnson-Mondragón said. “The culture doesn’t help, and the church doesn’t have the tools,” he said. The Rev. Thomas Domurat, pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in East Boston, said the parish has reached out to the Hispanic community, going door to door to promote prayer groups and Bible study. On an average weekend, some 2,700 people attend Masses, the vast majority of whom speak Spanish. “The Spanish Masses get the big crowds,” he said. The church also offers confessions in Spanish, drawing worshippers from outside the parish. But like other churches, Most Holy Redeemer struggles to attract Hispanics who have grown up in the United States. “They are captured by the culture around them,” Domurat said. On Sunday, Most Holy Redeemer filled every pew for its noon Mass in Spanish. Parishioner Maria Luperon, 57, said it is typical to see a full house at each of the church’s four Sunday Masses. She and other congregants said the church appeals to the local Latino community by offering a wide variety of classes and activities in Spanish, with several specifically geared to young people. “This church is very open to everybody,” said Luperon, a native of the Dominican Republic who has sung in the church choir for 18 years. Carlos Monroy, 22, was born in the United States to parents from El Salvador. He said he attends church each week, but he knows many young people who do not, though most were not brought up in the church. Carlos Rodriguez, 30, emigrated from El Salvador to Everett at 22 and first visited the church shortly after his arrival. Initially, he said, he wasn’t deeply involved, but that changed after he joined a Bible study group. Rodriguez now leads a group that visits community members at home and evangelizes to them. He said that effort makes a difference. “I see this church very active, actually,” he said. “I see others not as big as this one.” The authors of the BC study found that even as the ranks of Hispanic Catholics burgeoned in recent decades, the church was often slow to adapt. Only 25 percent of Catholic parishes have any Mass in Spanish, with the vast majority in the South and West. And those Masses are sometimes held at less convenient times that make them feel like “an addendum to the church schedule,” Ospino said. “Language remains a barrier,” he said. In the Boston archdiocese, just 40 of almost 300 parishes offer Spanish-language Masses, he said. That has contributed to the tenuous relationship many Hispanics have with the church, researchers found. Many churches reported that Hispanics remain on the periphery of church life, and that active participation “remains at a minimal level,” the study found. The study, which was funded by anonymous donors and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute, surveyed nearly 100 directors of Hispanic ministries in dioceses across the country. Churches have long focused their efforts on first-generation immigrants and pastoral outreach to Hispanic youth, especially US-born, remains modest. As Hispanics move toward becoming a majority in the US Catholic Church, that needs to change, the report found. “Much of the Catholic experience in the country during the next few decades will be significantly shaped by how the church reaches out to this important group and whether young Hispanics in this age bracket, at least those living in Catholic homes, decide to self-identify as Catholic,” the report says. On average, parishes with Hispanic ministries have fewer resources, and many struggle financially, the BC report found. In parishes with Hispanic majorities, money is even scarcer. And the report concluded that relatively few Latinos hold positions of leadership in the church, Ospino said, and many “champions of Hispanic ministry” are near the end of their careers. “Who is going to replace them?” he asked.


Good News: Many Hispanic Catholics. Challenge: To Meet Their Spiritual Needs May 5, 2014

Sister Mary Ann Walsh Director of Media Relations, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops A Boston College study on Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes released May 5 offers good news and a challenge. The number of Hispanic Catholics has dramatically increased, both among new immigrants and the 60-70 percent of the Hispanic community who are non-immigrants and having children. The practice of Catholicism by U.S. Hispanics has never been higher, but the needs of this huge community require the Church to do more. One step by the Catholic Church has been to increase the number of priests and religious who speak Spanish so they can minister to the Hispanic community. Some seminaries now require study of Spanish to facilitate such work. There's been an increase in the number of Hispanic deacons who work in parishes. Today about 15 percent of active permanent deacons are Hispanic. Many dioceses have Hispanic offices to oversee efforts. The next step is to educate parishes on cultural sensitivity as people of all backgrounds come together into one parish community. We see advances in Hispanic lay leadership and right now 43 percent of the more than 22,500 lay people in church leadership formation programs are Hispanic. Hispanic bishops now lead major dioceses. They include the head of the largest archdiocese in the United States, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archbishop José Gomez, a native of Mexico. Others include Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio; Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, and Bishop Cirilo Flores of San Diego. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a strategy to increase the number of Hispanic seminarians and priests. There is a significant gap between the percentage of Catholics in the U.S. who are Hispanic (35 percent) and the number of Hispanic seminarians (16 percent) and Hispanic priests (6 percnt). The bishops' Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) set as a goal to increase the numbers of Hispanic and new religious by 25 percent by 2016. The Committee on Catholic Education is exploring ways to increase the number of Hispanics in Catholic schools, the natural venue for developing future Catholic leaders. In Latin America, Catholic schools are seen as private schools for the elite. Changing that mindset is one challenge. Making the schools affordable is the next. Almost a quarter of the nation's 18,000 parishes have Hispanic ministry. These parishes are not just in the South and Southwest, where most Hispanic ministry began, but now are throughout the nation. Another factor influences Hispanic ministry, however. It may be the greatest challenge of all: the reality that the United States has become a secular society. Pollsters even have a category called "none" when you check a box for religious affiliation. Everyone, including Hispanics, and especially young ones, can fall prey to what has become a new American problem, religious relativism, where, perhaps inspired by exciting music or a rousing preacher, you move from your parents' church to another to no church at all. That's the climate in which we are forming our youth, the future of the Catholic Church and U.S. society. It is scary to consider that religious relativism may be the greatest threat that exists to the increasingly important Hispanic Catholic community.


Study Finds Catholic Church at Risk of Losing Young Hispanic Adults Living in US BY JESSICA MARTINEZ May 7, 2014 The growing number of young Hispanics in the United States is challenging the Catholic Church to shift its priority toward them or risk alienating them altogether. According to a Boston College study focused on the behavior of Hispanic American Catholics, the future of Catholicism will be significantly shaped by how the Catholic Church reaches out to second and third generation Hispanics, the majority of which are steering away from self-identifying as Catholics. "There are very few efforts in the Catholic Church to reach out to Hispanic youth, that's a major red flag for our institution because more than 55 percent of Catholic youth in the U.S. are Hispanic. If the Church doesn't reach out to this generation, we're going to risk losing them," Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor of theology and ministry at Boston College and lead author of the report told The Christian Post. According to the survey, 59 percent of current priests that serve Hispanic communities are older than 55, which could explain the disconnect between the youth and the Church. However, there has been a recent influx of young Hispanic leaders emerging within the Church that could influence the involvement of the Catholic youth. Currently, 93 percent of Latinos under 18 are U.S. born and Hispanics overall account for 40 percent of U.S. Catholics. Although 25 percent of all parishes in the country serve Hispanics, that number has not increased at the same rate as the larger Hispanic Catholic population. Ospino notes that now is the time for the church to provide help in areas of education, language, geography and ministry to this demographic "A lot of dioceses and parishes are investing in catholic schools," said Ospino. "There is also an urgent need for the Church to invest in more Hispanic parishes, particularly for youth ministries. That's the big push we're making with this study." While the Catholic Church lacks in effort to reach younger adults, more second and third generation Hispanics raised as Catholics are finding evangelical churches in the U.S. more to their liking. According to a Gallup poll released last year, there is an increased number of Hispanic Catholics shifting to Protestantism. In a previous interview with CP, Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said the reasons for the shift varies. "Number one is a vertical issue, the issue of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Basically, you bypass the bureaucracy, you don't have to confess to a priest, you don't have to go through a bureaucratic sort of structure; you have a personal relationship with God through the Person of Jesus Christ – justification by faith," said Rodriguez. He added, "…The Evangelical Church is culturally contextualized, which basically means you don't have to leave your culture at the door. The Evangelical Church accommodates, it customizes the worship and the way the message is delivered to enrich and to affirm your culture...In the Catholic Church, there's already the Latin, the collective culture that comes out of the Catholic Church out of Rome." Despite those reasons, Ospino notes that young adults under 30 in the U.S. – Catholics and unbelievers alike – are being affected by secularization, which begins with indifference towards religion, he explains. Ken Johnson-Mondragon, director of research and publications for Fe y Vida, an organization focused on fostering Latino Catholic youth, shared the same concern with CP. "Secularization by the third generation is massive – much higher than among the white Catholic population – and the Catholic Church has not yet developed a systematic, comprehensive, and effective way to help Hispanic parents in the transmission of the faith to their children in this new cultural context of the United States. If that trend is not turned around in the current generation, the Catholic Church stands to lose as much as half of its Hispanic membership in the next 30 years."

 


 

Study Shows U.S. Catholic Church Must Adapt to Growing Hispanic Population By Selena Hill MAY 6, 2014

 

Monsignor Paul Fisher conducts mass for members of the local community attending Corpus Christ Catholic Church to pray and pay their respects to teacher Ann Maguire on April 29, 2014 in Leeds, England. A 15-year-old male student has been arrested in connection with the death of Mrs Maguire, who was fatally stabbed yesterday during lessons at Corpus Christi Catholic Catholic College (Photo : Getty )

While the growth of Hispanics in the U.S. Catholic Church has been explosive, a new study reveals that this increase presents both a strength and a challenge for the church. A Boston College study on Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes released Monday shows that the number of Hispanic Catholics has dramatically increased and has never been higher. However, the needs of this community are not being entirely met by the church. As a result, Boston College researcher Hosffman Ospino said that the Church is at risk of losing an ethnic group that is crucial to the future of Catholicism. "There are already predictions about the death of the parish in America," Ospino said. "If we fail to address the issues facing Hispanic Catholics and the parishes that serve them, then the parish structure in America will experience a dramatic decline as it did in Europe." The church is already about 40 percent Hispanic, which has helped stabilize the church as non-immigrant Catholics are drifting away, the New York Times reported. In a few decades, Hispanics are expected to dominate the majority of American Catholics. However, Ospino warns that the burgeoning Hispanic Catholic community is challenging parishes in areas of education, language, geography and ministry. Nearly one in every four Catholic parishes in the U.S. include a form of organized ministry to Hispanics. However, these parishes are led predominantly by non-Hispanic white priests who have reached the age of retirement. As a result, there is a shortage of programs to prepare Hispanic priests and pastoral leaders for Hispanic ministry. "A new generation of Hispanic leaders in the Church is emerging," Ospino said. "The question is, is the Catholic Church ready for this? Will the structure of the American Catholic Church allow them to succeed? As it stands now, we still have a long way to go." Unlike American Catholics, Hispanic parents are less likely to send their children to Catholic schools because of financial burdens, and their sons have been less likely to pursue the priesthood. Plus, there is also a concern regarding the lack of personnel and financial resources in parishes with a large number of Hispanic members.


Fewer Hispanics are Catholic, so how can more Catholics be Hispanic? BY CARY FUNK JESSICA MARTINEZ For more than 25 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has made a special effort to reach the Hispanic community, with programs and resources that flow from archbishops’ offices to local parishes. In many ways, that effort has paid off. In 1970, Archbishop Patrick Flores became the first U.S. Hispanic bishop. Today, there are 26 active Hispanic bishops (roughly 10% of all active bishops) and about 450 Hispanic seminarians at the graduate level of training for the priesthood (about 14% of all seminarians at that level), according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. But the degree to which the church has succeeded in keeping Latinos in the pews is less clear. On the one hand, the percentage of Latinos in the U.S. who are Catholic is declining, according to a major new Pew Research Center report. A majority (55%) of the nation’s estimated 35.4 million Latino adults – or about 19.6 million Latinos – identify as Catholic, but that’s down from two-thirds (67%) as recently as 2010. Today, nearly one-in-four Latino adults (24%) are now former Catholics. (We also asked about the reasons Latinos are leaving Catholicism.) On the other hand, the percentage of all U.S. Catholics who are Hispanic is increasing. Arecent study of Catholic parishes with Hispanic ministries from Boston College and CARA reports that Latinos made up about one-quarter of U.S. Catholics in the 1980s, and are about 40% of the Catholic population today. In our surveys, as of 2013, one-third (33%) of all U.S. Catholic adults were Hispanic. That paradox is possible because of thegrowing size of the Hispanic population, which has increased from 12.5% of the total U.S. population in 2000 to 16.9% in 2012. If both trends continue, at some point in the future, it is possible that a majority of U.S. Catholics will be Hispanic even though the majority of Hispanics


will no longer be Catholic. The share of Hispanics who are Catholic likely has been in decline for at least the last few decades, according to long-term trends in the General Social Survey, and the movement of Hispanics away from Catholicism is not limited to the U.S. In some Latin American countries, evangelical Protestant churches have been gaining members and the share of those with no religious affiliation has been growing. But the declining percentage of Hispanics who are Catholics also reflects religious changes taking place in the U.S. general public, where Catholicism has had a net loss of adherents through religious switching (or conversion) and the share of the religiously unaffiliated has been growing rapidly. Three-quarters of Latino adults in the new survey (77%) say they were raised as Catholics, while just over half (55%) currently describe themselves as Catholics. Roughly a quarter of Latinos were raised Catholic and have left the faith (24%), while just 2% were raised in some other faith and have converted to Catholicism, for a net decline of 22 percentage points. Catholicism is the only major religious tradition among Latinos that has seen a net loss in adherents due to religious switching. Net gains have occurred among the religiously unaffiliated (up 12 percentage points) and among Protestants (up eight points). In addition to the Hispanics who have already left the Catholic Church, a growing share of Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. say they could imagine doing so someday. While two-thirds of Hispanic Catholics say they could never leave the church, roughly three-in-ten (29%) say they can imagine leaving Catholicism â&#x20AC;&#x201C; up from 21% who said this in 2007.


As  Hispanics  approach  majority  in  U.S.  church,  needs  for   ministry  loom     By  Patricia  Zapor     Posted:  5/9/2014     CHESTNUT  HILL,  Mass.  (CNS)  -­‐-­‐-­‐  Training  of  pastoral  leaders  and  provision  of  most  other  resources  for  Hispanic   ministry  aren't  keeping  up  with  the  fast-­‐approaching  time  when  Hispanics  will  make  up  the  majority  of  Catholics  in   the  United  States,  according  to  a  new  report.     "Hispanic  Catholics  have  reached  critical  mass  in  the  church,"  said  Hosffman  Ospino,  lead  author  of  the  National  Study   of  Catholic  Parishes  with  Hispanic  Ministry.  He  said  55  percent  of  all  U.S.  Catholics  under  the  age  of  30  are  Hispanic   and  Hispanics  account  for  71  percent  of  the  growth  in  the  U.S.  Catholic  population  since  1960.     "Ignoring  the  growth  of  Hispanic  Catholics  in  the  United  States  would  be  self-­‐defeating  for  our  churches  and  schools,"   he  added.     Ospino,  assistant  professor  of  theology  and  ministry  at  Boston  College  in  Chestnut  Hill,  presented  his  findings  from  the   first  major  survey  of  how  parishes  are  handling  the  rapid  demographic  shift  May  5  at  the  college.     Hispanics  currently  account  for  about  40  percent  of  all  U.S.  Catholics  and  their  share  of  the  population  is  continuing  to   increase.  Nationwide,  4,358  parishes  -­‐-­‐  almost  one-­‐quarter  of  the  U.S.  total  -­‐-­‐  were  identified  as  having  some  sort  of   organized  ministry  to  Hispanics.     The  study  cited  many  signs  of  vitality  in  parish  Hispanic  ministry  -­‐-­‐  including  youth,  a  strong  permanent  diaconate   system  and  thriving  apostolic  movements.  But  other  areas  require  urgent  attention,  it  said.       Among  the  "urgent  dynamics"  of  parish  Hispanic  ministry  that  are  in  need  of  attention,  it  listed:  disproportionately   limited  financial  and  human  resources,  a  "disquieting  gap"  in  Hispanic  enrollment  in  Catholic  schools,  and  a  cohort  of   pastoral  leaders  who  are  approaching  retirement  age  with  too  few  people  in  training  to  replace  them.     The  study  pointed  out  that  the  oldest  Catholic  parishes  under  the  flag  of  the  United  States  were  and  continue  to  be   Hispanic.       In  the  Southwest,  a  vibrant  Catholic  Church  existed  long  before  the  United  States  acquired  parts  of  Mexico,  making  for   Hispanic-­‐dominated  parishes  that  predated  the  development  of  "national"  parishes.  National  parishes  were  created  in   the  19th  century  to  minister  to  European  immigrants  such  as  Germans,  Italians  and  Poles,  intended  to  be  a  temporary   system  for  helping  newcomers  maintain  their  faith  connections  while  they  integrated.     As  the  study  notes,  "when  absorbing  the  annexed  Mexican  territories,  long-­‐standing  Hispanic  parishes  were  typically   treated  as  'only'  national  parishes,"  although  many  different  nationalities  fall  under  the  cluster  of  Hispanic.     The  report  is  a  summary  of  the  findings  of  a  national  study,  conducted  by  the  Boston  College  School  of  Theology  and   Ministry  in  collaboration  with  the  Center  for  Applied  Research  in  the  Apostolate  of  Georgetown  University.  Several   future  reports  will  delve  into  angles  such  as  education  and  leadership  training,  Ospino  told  Catholic  News  Service.     The  study  is  based  on  responses  to  surveys  sent  to  diocesan  and  parish  leaders  who  work  in  Hispanic  ministry.   Parishes  were  counted  as  offering  Hispanic  ministry  if  they  offer  Mass  or  religious  education  in  Spanish,  for  example,   even  if  they  don't  formally  have  a  Hispanic  ministry  program,  Ospino  said.  

 


Other  elements  in  the  report  include  discussion  of  leadership  structures  and  leadership  development;  apostolic   movements  such  as  Cursillo  and  Communion  and  Liberation;  and  programming  and  education  for  children,  youth  and   adults     In  an  event  at  Boston  College  where  the  study  was  released,  Mark  Gray,  of  the  Center  for  Applied  Research  in  the   Apostolate  at  Georgetown  University  in  Washington,  said  one  conclusion  he  draws  from  the  study  that  should  catch   the  attention  of  church  leaders  is  "if  you  don't  do  Hispanic  ministry  well,  then  you  face  an  uncertain  future."       Unlike  past  generations  of  immigrants,  he  said,  people  today  have  many  more  choices  in  where  they  can  go  to   worship,  whether  another  Catholic  parish  that  offers  something  different,  a  non-­‐Catholic  Christian  church  that  is   welcoming  or  even  the  growing  phenomena  of  dropping  all  religious  affiliation.     "We  call  them  drive-­‐bys,"  Gray  said,  because  people  will  drive  by  a  church  that  doesn't  offer  what  they  need  and  go   elsewhere.     Timothy  Matovina,  a  University  of  Notre  Dame  professor  of  theology  and  executive  director  of  that  school's  Institute   for  Latino  Studies,  pointed  to  some  of  the  study's  findings  he  thinks  are  significant:  that  two-­‐thirds  of  the  pastors   doing  Hispanic  ministry  are  not  Hispanic;  that  most  of  them  got  any  training  they  have  in  Hispanic  ministry  on  their   own;  and  that  just  13  percent  said  they  received  relevant  training  in  Hispanic  ministry  in  the  seminary.     Matovina  also  observed  that  the  immigrants  from  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean  who  are  adding  to  the  surge  of   Hispanics  in  the  church  are  arriving  to  find  a  different  sort  of  church  than  did  earlier  waves  of  immigrants.     "A  hundred  years  ago,  immigrants  arrived  to  an  immigrant  church,"  he  said.  "Now  they  are  arriving  to  a  middle-­‐class   church."       It  will  be  important  to  the  future  of  the  church  for  the  more  established  parts  of  the  church,  where  there  is  more   money  and  power,  to  think  of  the  growing  sector  of  less-­‐wealthy  Hispanics  as  deserving  of  their  support  as  part  of  the   same  church,  Ospino  said.     Ospino  told  a  story  to  illustrate  how  that's  relevant  to  meeting  the  pastoral  needs  of  a  working-­‐class  or  poor  group  of   newcomers.     He  described  a  parish  with  a  high  level  of  immigrants  that  was  in  financial  crisis.  The  parish  was  administered  by  a   religious  order  that  also  ran  three  wealthier,  nonimmigrant  parishes  in  the  same  region.  The  religious  order  leaders   went  to  the  three  wealthier  parishes  asking  for  support  to  keep  the  immigrant  parish  open.  "They  said  no,"  Ospino   said.     In  a  subsequent  interview  with  CNS,  Ospino  said  perspectives  such  as  that  of  the  nonimmigrant  parishes  in  that  story   illustrate  a  basic  flaw  in  how  many  American  Catholics  think  about  the  growth  of  Hispanics  toward  dominance  in  the   church.     "We  need  to  shift  the  language  in  the  church,"  Ospino  said.  "We  can't  simply  treat  Hispanics  as  a  subgroup  of  the   church  anymore.  In  many  parts  of  the  country,  to  speak  about  Hispanic  Catholics  is  to  speak  about  the  majority  of  the   church."  

 


Boston College Releases First Report of National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry May 5, 2014 Today Boston College Released the Summary Report of the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry. This report emerges from three years of gathering information from parishes serving Hispanic Catholics nationwide. The study was conducted between 2011 and 2013 under the leadership of Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D., assistant professor of Hispanic ministry and religious education at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. It is the first of a series of reports that will be released. The report is divided into three sections 1. Structures, 2. Leadership 3. Faith Formation. Click Here to read the report. The following webpage at Boston Collegeʼs School of Theology and Ministry will store articles and emerging reports as well as media references.

 


HISPANICS U.S. Roman Catholics count on Hispanics, even as more leave the church MAY 08, 2014 12:30 AM BY LILLY FOWLER

While some St. Louisans celebrated Cinco de Mayo with guacamole and beer, the women of St. Cecilia Catholic Church marked it with their devotion. On Monday night, draped with veils, or “mantillas” in Spanish, they strolled into St. Cecilia, an overwhelmingly Hispanic parish famous in the city for its fish fries. Acoustic Spanish music strummed live in the background. And during the homily, the Rev. Anthony Ochoa, the only Hispanic priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, joked even Mexicans aren’t sure what Cinco de Mayo is all about. Maria Lara, 49, who is from Mexico but now helps prepare lunches for schoolchildren in the city, says attending a church where the priest speaks her language is crucial, though she has learned English after more than two decades in the states. “We can understand it, but it doesn’t feel the same,” Lara said of the other Masses in the region. A new survey of more than 5,000 Latinos by the Pew Research Center finds that parishes like St. Cecilia are facing a paradox: Even as the population of Hispanic Catholics is rising in the U.S., a greater number are defecting to other faiths. Nearly one-in-four Latino adults, or 24 percent, are now former Catholics, according to the survey. Roman Catholics who have left the faith have tended to either drift toward a Protestant denomination or have ended their affiliation with religion altogether. According to the Pew Research Center survey, about 22 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. identify as Protestant, while 18 percent say they are religiously unaffiliated.


Yet more than half of the nation’s estimated 35.4 million Latinos, or 19.6 million, identify as Catholics. And as of 2013, one-third, or 33 percent, of all U.S. Roman Catholics were Hispanic, according to the Pew Research Center. So as the study puts it, even as Hispanics leave the church, because of the growing size of the Latino population, “a day could come when a majority of Catholics in the United States will be Hispanic, even though the majority of Hispanics might no longer be Catholic.” Or as a different recent study — the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry — notes: “Hispanics account for 71 percent of the growth of the Catholic population in the United States since 1960.” That study, released Monday, was written by Hosffman Ospino, professor of Hispanic ministry and religious education at Boston College, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Hispanics are a relatively small minority in the St. Louis region, particularly in comparison to other parts of the country. About 2.6 percent of residents in the area, or 57,900, are Hispanic, according to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. But the pastoral plan for Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis projects that 11 percent of Roman Catholics in the region will be Latinos by 2020. Currently, Catholic churches in St. Louis with a large Hispanic population include not only St. Cecilia but parishes such as Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in St. Ann. Churches in the Diocese of Belleville, such as Holy Rosary Parish in Fairmont City, also have welcomed an influx of Latino immigrants, many of them from Mexico. “I think it’s huge for our future,” said Sister Rose Ann Ficker, director of Hispanic ministry at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish. “The archdiocese is just kind of awakening to the Hispanic presence.” “But it is starting to change and becoming more positive.” DRIFTING AWAY Although Hispanic Catholics overwhelmingly approve of Pope Francis, with eight in 10 giving him either a very favorable rating or mostly favorable rating, Hispanics have switched faiths for multiple reasons, according to the Pew Research Center survey.


Asked about why they defected, more than half of those surveyed said they just gradually drifted away from the church. About an equal number indicated they stopped believing in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Among those who left Catholicism for Protestantism, 49 percent said it was because their new religion “reaches out and helps its members more.” While only 3 percent mentioned the sexual abuse crisis as a reason for leaving the Roman Catholic Church, a vast majority felt strongly that the Vatican needed to do more to address the scandal. The survey also notes that most Hispanic Catholics are at odds with the church’s teachings on divorce and contraception. Most also favor allowing priests to marry and women to become priests. GROWING DEMANDS Beatriz Watters, 53, regularly attends Mass at St. Cecilia. Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, Watters has noticed a rise in the number of parishioners frequenting the church. She attributes the growth to the Rev. Ochoa and the impact he has made on the community. But Ochoa, who moved to St. Louis from California in 2001 and was ordained here in the archdiocese in 2010, says he needs help in meeting the growing demands of Hispanic Catholics in the region. “I get the sense sometimes that we are oblivious,” Ochoa said. “The church in St. Louis has the potential to do much more to grow the Hispanic population.” Ochoa said serving as the only Hispanic priest in the archdiocese can feel isolating, yet challenging and rewarding at the same. “When I got here people started coming out of the woodwork because I could understand their confessions,” Ochoa said.


“There is no one who is young slotted for these things, I’m it,” Ochoa continued. The archdiocese has, however, begun to take steps to meet future needs. “We are very blessed to have an archdiocese that is really committed to reaching out,” said Javier Orozco, director of the office of Hispanic ministry at the archdiocese, which was first established in 1995. Still, Orozco admits the lack of Spanish-speaking priests continues to be a problem. Archbishop Robert Carlson is overseeing the ordination of two seminarians from Colombia, but it may be as long as eight years before the two men can fully function as priests. And there are other practical concerns as well. Hispanic parishes tend to be poorer than others, with the attending community able to contribute little monetarily. St. Cecilia, for example, still has no air conditioner, a concern as the summer approaches. But Irving Gonzalez, 17, a junior at Cleveland Junior Naval Academy, who is from Veracruz, Mexico, says he expects to continue attending St. Cecilia, despite the fact that some of his friends have chosen to leave the Roman Catholic Church. “Catholicism is a place where I belong, a community,” Irving said. “I feel welcome.”  


 

Millions Of Latinos Have Abandoned Catholic Church Since 2010, Pew Says Published May 07, 2014 Fox News Latino

More than 4 million Latinos in the United States have left the Catholic Church since 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that spotlighted the churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ongoing exodus of Latinos, a group seen as pivotal to the future of Catholicism. In 2010, two-thirds of Hispanics (67 percent) in the U.S. were Catholic. Today, that number has dwindled to 55 percent of the nation's 35 million Latino adults. While close to 20 million Latinos still identify as Catholic, the church has lost 12 percent, or 4 million Latinos in the U.S. over the past four years alone, according to the Pew study released Wednesday. At the same time, the share of Hispanic evangelicals rose from 12 percent to 16 percent, while Latinos with no religious affiliation increased from 10 percent to 18 percent. The new survey confirms a concerning worldwide trend for the Catholic Church, which has been losing followers for years, and is the latest indication the church is particularly losing followers among its strongest base, Latinos in the U.S. and in Latin America. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The size of this change in such short time is surprising to us -- 12 percentage drop in just four or five years is just larger than we might have expected," Cary Funk, a Pew senior researcher, told Fox News. The changes partly reflect religious trends in Latin America, which has also seen a steady decline in Catholics as the ranks of evangelicals and nonbelievers have grown. In Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic population, the number of Catholics has dropped from 125 million in 2000 to 123 million in 2010, with the church's share of the total population dropping from 74 percent to 65 percent. Concern about the region's losses is believed to have been a factor in the election of Pope Francis, an Argentine and the first pontiff from the Southern Hemisphere. Francis has candidly spoken about the exodus issue, acknowledging that people see the Church as a "relic of the past" and a "prisoner of its own rigid formulas" which instead is in need of "walking at people's side, of doing more than simply listening to them." Still, the Catholic Church remains America's largest denomination by far, with more than 66 million members, but has been steadily losing non-immigrant parishioners. In a previous analysis, Pew found former U.S. Catholics collectively would be the third-largest faith group behind Catholics and Baptists. Hispanics are still expected to become a majority within the U.S. church in the coming years given the overall increase in the general Latino population. Already, one-third of U.S. Catholic adults are Latino, Pew researchers said. But Catholic leaders have been struggling to hold onto new immigrants given the shortage of priests and the competitive religious marketplace in the U.S. Nearly every American faith tradition has intensified its outreach to Latinos in recent decades.


Pew found no single reason for the changing Latino religious landscape. Respondents most commonly said they gradually drifted away from the faith of their childhood or stopped believing the teachings. About 30 percent said they found another congregation that helps its members more. Others said they had a personal spiritual crisis or left for family reasons. While a large percentage of Latinos overall said the church should do more to address the clergy sex abuse scandal, only a tiny percentage cited the crisis as a reason they left. Pew found about half of U.S. Latinos who left Catholicism did so before they arrived in this country. However, U.S. religious life has also been an influence. The share of Americans overall who say they have no religion, or "nones," has increased to about 20 percent in recent years. The trend is more pronounced among young people. Pew researchers found similar patterns among U.S. Latinos. Most of those ages 18 to 29 who left Catholicism now say they belong to no particular religious group. Hispanics ages 30 to 49 moved toward both evangelical Protestantism and no religion. A recent Boston College study found the future of Catholicism will be shaped by how the church reaches out to young second- and third-generation Hispanics. According to the study, 59 percent of current priests that serve Hispanic communities are older than 55, indicating a clear disconnect between young people and the church. The Pew survey was conducted from May 24-July 28 of last year and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. The Associated Press contributed to this article.


La paradoja que define a los hispanos católicos de EE.UU. Thomas Sparrow BBC Mundo, Washington (@bbc_sparrow) Última actualización: Jueves, 15 de mayo de 2014

Dos estudios presentados este mes en Estados Unidos plantean lo que parece una enredada paradoja: el porcentaje de hispanos católicos está cayendo, pero cada vez más católicos son hispanos. El Centro de Investigación Pew, con sede en Washington, presentó una encuesta la semana pasada en la que asegura que en los últimos cuatro años el número de hispanos que se identifican como católicos ha caído en 12%. Hoy, según el centro, el 24% de los adultos latinos se considera un excatólico. Al mismo tiempo, otro análisis, del Boston College, describió la creciente presencia hispana en las instituciones católicas del país y calculó que la participación en misas con ministerios hispanos es 22% mayor que en otras parroquias. Su autor, Hosffman Ospino, le dijo a BBC Mundo que "la institución que más ha sido impactada por la presencia hispana en Estados Unidos es precisamente la Iglesia Católica". ¿Cómo puede explicarse este doble fenómeno?


Tendencia hacia la secularización La caída en el número de hispanos católicos se debe a una variedad de factores, según le cuenta a BBC Mundo una de las coautoras del análisis del Pew, Jessica Martínez. Más de la mitad de los encuestados dijo que perdió el interés gradualmente o dejó de creer en las enseñanzas de la religión. Más del 20% describió una "crisis personal profunda" como su motivo para dejar el catolicismo y casi un tercio dijo que encontró otra iglesia que ayuda más a sus miembros. En ese sentido, Martínez asegura que los latinos que dejaron la religión católica se movieron en dos direcciones: se vincularon a otros grupos -como evangélicos o protestantes- o se describieron a sí mismos como ateos o agnósticos. Esto último tiene intranquilas a las autoridades religiosas de Estados Unidos."Lo que más nos preocupa es el crecimiento de los no afiliados", le dice a BBC Mundo Mar Muñoz-Visoso, directora ejecutiva del Secretariado sobre Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia, en la Conferencia Episcopal de Estados Unidos. "Si otra persona se siente bienvenida y encuentra a Cristo en otra denominación cristiana, pues bendito sea Dios. El problema es que realmente hay una tendencia muy grande hacia la secularización", dice. Según el Centro Pew, el catolicismo es la única tradición religiosa importante que ha perdido adherentes entre los latinos por cuenta de un cambio de religión. Los no afiliados han crecido en 12 puntos porcentuales, mientras los protestantes han aumentado en 8%. Es importante indicar que el estudio del Pew recibió críticas entre algunos analistas de temas religiosos. Por ejemplo, Mark Silk, director del Centro para el Estudio de la Religión en la Vida Pública del Trinity College, en Connecticut, publicó dos artículos en el Servicio de Noticias Religiosas titulados "Lo que Pew malinterpretó sobre los hispanos". En diálogo con BBC Mundo, Silk asegura que hubo un problema con la comparación estadística que hizo Pew y agrega que si bien es evidente la caída en el número de hispanos católicos, no es tan pronunciada como asegura el centro de estudios. Pew le respondió directamente a Silk y defendió su método.


Un reto de la Iglesia es atraer a las nuevas generaciones. Misas y bautizos en español Si un lado de la moneda es que hay menos hispanos que son católicos, el otro lado de la moneda es que el catolicismo se está llenando de cada vez más hispanos. Muñoz-Visoso, de la Conferencia Episcopal, le explica a BBC Mundo que se han visto "desbordados como Iglesia Católica en Estados Unidos por el crecimiento tan fuerte y tan sostenido que ha habido de los católicos hispanos". Ese aumento se debe principalmente a la llegada de inmigrantes provenientes de América Latina, cuyos países tienden a ser mayoritariamente católicos. Los hispanos pasaron de ser el 12,5% de la población total de Estados Unidos en 2000 a 16,9% en 2012, según Pew. 5 cifras del estudio de Boston College • • • • •

98% de las parroquias encuestadas indicaron que ofrecen sacramentos y otros servicios religiosos en español. 10% de las parroquias no tienen una misa en español el fin de semana y 65% no la ofrecen entre semana. La participación en misas con ministerios hispanos es 22% mayor que en otras parroquias. En promedio, las parroquias hispanas celebraron 82 bautizos en español en 2011 y 36 en inglés. 57% de los pastores encuestados aseguraron que recibieron entrenamiento específico para trabajar con católicos hispanos. Fuente: El Ministerio Hispano en las Parroquias Católicas. Hosffman Ospino. Boston College.


Hosffman Ospino calcula en su estudio que el 71% del crecimiento de la Iglesia Católica estadounidense desde 1960 hasta hoy se debe a la presencia hispana. El analista agrega que el 6% de todas las misas celebradas en el país se realizan ahora en español y que nuestro idioma también es popular a la hora de celebrar bautizos o primeras comuniones. Ospino habla de la "vitalidad" de las parroquias hispanas. Pero también explica que es bajo el porcentaje de líderes pastorales hispanos nacidos en Estados Unidos, así como las actividades para atraer a los jóvenes. "No podemos simplemente reconocer que la presencia hispana existe, lo que necesitamos hacer es actuar". En ese sentido, la Conferencia Episcopal explica que tiene un programa para fomentar las competencias interculturales de los ministros y que muchas diócesis están contratando a personas para encargarse de la pastoral hispana Así mismo, Muñoz-Visoso dice que la Conferencia Episcopal está haciendo un "esfuerzo muy grande" para que las familias inscriban a sus hijos en colegios católicos, así como fomentar las vocaciones como el sacerdocio o el matrimonio. Pero para Hosffman Ospino no es suficiente. "Tenemos esta realidad y todavía no hemos descubierto el tesoro que tenemos como institución". "En el mundo del mercado, si una compañía tuviera un número de clientes dispuestos a comprar un producto, giraría todos sus recursos para mimar a esos clientes", dice. "La verdad es que hay que hacer diez veces más de lo que estamos haciendo", concluye.


La realidad del catolicismo hispano en EEUU anticiparía desafíos para América Latina EEUU RELIGIÓN | 12 de mayo de 2014

Denver (CO), 12 may (EFEUSA).- La creciente secularización de la comunidad hispana, especialmente entre los jóvenes, anticiparía los desafíos que la Iglesia Católica podría enfrentar próximamente en América Latina, según el teólogo y educador colombiano Hosffman Ospino. Profesor de ministerio hispano y educación religiosa en el Boston College, en Massachusetts, Ospino, se especializa en el diálogo entre teología y cultura, especialmente en el marco del ministerio y la educación teológica de la Iglesia Católica. A principios de esta semana, Ospino publicó un estudio (el primero de su clase a nivel nacional) sobre el ministerio hispano en parroquias católicas en Estados Unidos. Según el teólogo, debido a la fuerte influencia de la cultura estadounidense en América Latina y a los lazos culturales entre los hispanos residentes en Estados Unidos y en América Latina, su estudio podría entenderse como "un reflejo" de lo que eventualmente sucederá con el catolicismo latinoamericano. "Los residentes en América Latina deben entender que Estados Unidos es el segundo país hispanoparlante más grande de las Américas y que, por lo tanto, el catolicismo hispano en Estados Unidos es una realidad continental", manifestó el profesor a Efe, en referencia al hecho de que en este país residen 54 millones de hispanos, contra 121 millones de residentes en México y 48 millones en Colombia. "Los 14 millones de inmigrantes hispanos católicos en Estados Unidos están transformando la iglesia; por eso, se debe tener una visión continental de sus contribuciones", puntualizó. El estudio, realizado en cooperación con el Centro de Investigaciones Aplicadas en el Apostolado (CARA), se concentró en contextualizar la situación histórica y actual de

 


los latinos dentro de la Iglesia Católica estadounidense, en la que los hispanos representan el 40 por ciento de los fieles. "La Iglesia Católica tiene una consciencia de la creciente presencia de los hispanos, pero es una consciencia a distancia, como si lo estuviesen mirando por televisión. Es decir, no hay cambios en las estructuras eclesiásticas", comentó Ospino, agregando que eso "significa un riesgo para la Iglesia Católica". El "riesgo" se debe a que el 55 por ciento de los católicos menores de 18 años son hispanos, mientras que del 38 al 40 de los católicos adultos también son hispanos, por lo que, si no se cuenta con la estructura y el liderazgo adecuado, la iglesia podría perder a esas personas. Ospino llegó a esa conclusión tras analizar los datos de 172 diócesis, más de 4.300 parroquias y las respuestas de casi 1500 pastores, directores o ministros conectados con el ministerio hispano desde 2011 a 2013. Así enfatizó que el estudio, no se realizó "para buscar culpables" ni para "pedir que la iglesia se justifique" ("Ya sabemos todas las muchas cosas buenas que la iglesia hace por los hispanos, matizó), sino que es una "invitación a reconocer que existen desafíos". Esos desafíos surgen del contexto de las "realidades, tendencias y preguntas asociadas con la vida de las parroquias católicas con ministerios hispanos". "El reporte es un instrumento para entender mejor el ministerio hispano en las parroquias actuales, discernir importantes dinámicas que le dan forma a la experiencia de los católicos hispanos y construir comunidades más fuertes en esas parroquias", escribió en su informe. Esa experiencia refleja, por ejemplo, la situación de Érica Martínez, nacida en México pero criada en Denver, madre de dos hijos y casada con un estadounidense. Sus padres aún mantienen fuertes lazos con la Iglesia Católica y aunque Martínez durante mucho tiempo se identificó como católica, ella siente que ya no puede hacerlo. "Somos una familia culturalmente mixta y bilingüe. El catolicismo mexicano de mis padres no me da respuesta. Y el catolicismo estadounidense no siempre me incluye, ni en inglés ni en español", comentó Martínez. "No perdí mi fe, sino que aún busco un lugar donde pueda expresarla con toda mi familia", matizó. Por su parte, María Barraza, madre de tres hijos y quien llegó a Estados Unidos en su adolescencia, tuvo una experiencia opuesta. "Mis padres dejaron el catolicismo y se convirtieron aquí a otra religión, pero yo no lo hice", dijo Barraza. "Creo que la razón es que, mientras ellos estaban aquí y yo en México esperando para venir, me crió mi abuela, quien era muy católica. Aunque yo no soy tan católica

 


como ella, y aunque he explorado otras religiones, siempre vuelvo a las enseñanzas de mi abuela", explicó. Este tipo de situaciones, comentó Ospino, reflejan la influencia de la cultura estadounidense en los latinos y la influencia de la cultura latinoamericana en Estados Unidos. Dentro de las parroquias católicas, eso se traduce en "un nivel de participación relativamente alto en los sacramentos de la iglesia, pero un nivel de participación bajo en otros aspectos de la vida de la parroquia", como falta de formación de líderes o carencia de recursos financieros. "Lo mismo pasará y ya está pasando en América Latina", afirmó Ospino.

 


La realidad del catolicismo hispano en EEUU anticiparía desafíos para América Latina EEUU RELIGIÓN | 12 de mayo de 2014

Denver (CO), 12 may (EFEUSA).- La creciente secularización de la comunidad hispana, especialmente entre los jóvenes, anticiparía los desafíos que la Iglesia Católica podría enfrentar próximamente en América Latina, según el teólogo y educador colombiano Hosffman Ospino.

Profesor de ministerio hispano y educación religiosa en el Boston College, en Massachusetts, Ospino, se especializa en el diálogo entre teología y cultura, especialmente en el marco del ministerio y la educación teológica de la Iglesia Católica. A principios de esta semana, Ospino publicó un estudio (el primero de su clase a nivel nacional) sobre el ministerio hispano en parroquias católicas en Estados Unidos. Según el teólogo, debido a la fuerte influencia de la cultura estadounidense en América Latina y a los lazos culturales entre los hispanos residentes en Estados Unidos y en América Latina, su estudio podría entenderse como "un reflejo" de lo que eventualmente sucederá con el catolicismo latinoamericano. "Los residentes en América Latina deben entender que Estados Unidos es el segundo país hispanoparlante más grande de las Américas y que, por lo tanto, el catolicismo hispano en Estados Unidos es una realidad continental", manifestó el profesor a Efe, en referencia al hecho de que en este país residen 54 millones de hispanos, contra 121 millones de residentes en México y 48 millones en Colombia. "Los 14 millones de inmigrantes hispanos católicos en Estados Unidos están transformando la iglesia; por eso, se debe tener una visión continental de sus contribuciones", puntualizó. El estudio, realizado en cooperación con el Centro de Investigaciones Aplicadas en el Apostolado (CARA), se concentró en contextualizar la situación histórica y actual de los latinos dentro de la Iglesia Católica estadounidense, en la que los hispanos representan el 40 por ciento de los fieles.


"La Iglesia Católica tiene una consciencia de la creciente presencia de los hispanos, pero es una consciencia a distancia, como si lo estuviesen mirando por televisión. Es decir, no hay cambios en las estructuras eclesiásticas", comentó Ospino, agregando que eso "significa un riesgo para la Iglesia Católica". El "riesgo" se debe a que el 55 por ciento de los católicos menores de 18 años son hispanos, mientras que del 38 al 40 de los católicos adultos también son hispanos, por lo que, si no se cuenta con la estructura y el liderazgo adecuado, la iglesia podría perder a esas personas. Ospino llegó a esa conclusión tras analizar los datos de 172 diócesis, más de 4.300 parroquias y las respuestas de casi 1500 pastores, directores o ministros conectados con el ministerio hispano desde 2011 a 2013. Así enfatizó que el estudio, no se realizó "para buscar culpables" ni para "pedir que la iglesia se justifique" ("Ya sabemos todas las muchas cosas buenas que la iglesia hace por los hispanos, matizó), sino que es una "invitación a reconocer que existen desafíos". Esos desafíos surgen del contexto de las "realidades, tendencias y preguntas asociadas con la vida de las parroquias católicas con ministerios hispanos". "El reporte es un instrumento para entender mejor el ministerio hispano en las parroquias actuales, discernir importantes dinámicas que le dan forma a la experiencia de los católicos hispanos y construir comunidades más fuertes en esas parroquias", escribió en su informe. Esa experiencia refleja, por ejemplo, la situación de Érica Martínez, nacida en México pero criada en Denver, madre de dos hijos y casada con un estadounidense. Sus padres aún mantienen fuertes lazos con la Iglesia Católica y aunque Martínez durante mucho tiempo se identificó como católica, ella siente que ya no puede hacerlo. "Somos una familia culturalmente mixta y bilingüe. El catolicismo mexicano de mis padres no me da respuesta. Y el catolicismo estadounidense no siempre me incluye, ni en inglés ni en español", comentó Martínez. "No perdí mi fe, sino que aún busco un lugar donde pueda expresarla con toda mi familia", matizó. Por su parte, María Barraza, madre de tres hijos y quien llegó a Estados Unidos en su adolescencia, tuvo una experiencia opuesta. "Mis padres dejaron el catolicismo y se convirtieron aquí a otra religión, pero yo no lo hice", dijo Barraza. "Creo que la razón es que, mientras ellos estaban aquí y yo en México esperando para venir, me crió mi abuela, quien era muy católica. Aunque yo no soy tan católica como ella, y aunque he explorado otras religiones, siempre vuelvo a las enseñanzas de mi abuela", explicó.


Este tipo de situaciones, comentó Ospino, reflejan la influencia de la cultura estadounidense en los latinos y la influencia de la cultura latinoamericana en Estados Unidos. Dentro de las parroquias católicas, eso se traduce en "un nivel de participación relativamente alto en los sacramentos de la iglesia, pero un nivel de participación bajo en otros aspectos de la vida de la parroquia", como falta de formación de líderes o carencia de recursos financieros. "Lo mismo pasará y ya está pasando en América Latina", afirmó Ospino.


Hosffman Ospino: Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes