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V Encuentro, a spiritually charged experience


South Texas Catholic

– Stephanie Gallegos, president of Young Catholic Adults (YCA) and parishioner at Ss. Cyril & Methodius

“ It was a lot bigger than I ever imagined it would be. It was a very festive environment also because everyone was generally–celebratory of their background, wherever they came from and were happy to come together as one body in the Church and offer their input for whatever section they were charged with. It was also encouraging to see so many young people. People from the Diocese of Brownsville said current young adults are being a bridge between cultures. They were calling us bridge people ‘gente puente.’” “ Era mucho más grande de lo que nunca imaginé que sería, también era un ambiente festivo porque en general cada uno celebraba sus antecedentes, de donde quiera que vinieran estaban felices de estar reunidos, como un solo cuerpo en la Iglesia, ofreciendo su opinión, acerca de cualquier sección de la que estuvieran a cargo. Era también alentador ver a tanta gente joven. La gente de la Diócesis de Brownsville, dijo que los adultos jóvenes de hoy en día, están siendo un puente entre las culturas. Nos llamaban “gente puente”.

– Deacon Santos Jones III, Campus Minister at Newman Catholic Student Center in Beeville

ardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed more than 3,200 people to the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry to Grapevine on Sept. 20 that was both “electrifying and spiritually charged,” said Jaime Reyna, diocesan director of the Office of Multicultural and Social Ministry and V Encuentro Coordinator. In his opening remarks Cardinal DiNardo said, “Amidst this darkness, the Encuentro is a light that shines and illuminates the way forward. The enthusiasm, the passion, the love, and the joy of the Encuentro process is a means of grace, a gift to us as we rebuild the Church.” Eighteen delegates from the Diocese of Corpus Christi participated in the national conference “with a goal on how to mobilize more Hispanic/Latino Catholics to be full and active participants in the Church and how the Church can help bridge that communion,” Reyna said. The ultimate goal of the V Encuentro is to continue the excellent work, which began in 1972 with the First Encuentro–to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence and strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to the New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church. Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Archbishop of San Antonio and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Oct. 1, writing, “The V Encuentro process, and especially the national gathering, will go down in history as a special moment of grace for the Church in the United States in these turbulent and difficult times. The delegates, “went wild when Pope Francis came on the big screen, also welcoming 3,000 lay leaders from every state, 130 bishops, one papal nuncio, many priests, deacons and religious in attendance. It took almost 30 seconds just to calm down to hear his message,” Reyna said. “The overall message from Pope Francis was that he was pleased to know that many were gathering to have a dialogue and to listen to the needs of all people, including our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters,” Reyna said. “It was beautiful.” In between speakers, there were group discussions, workshops and opportunities for people to share their ideas for strategic planning at the parish or diocesan level. Areas that were selected ahead of time for these sessions were: Campus Ministry, Care for Creation, Continued on page 20

“ One of the genuine concerns was youth and young adult ministry and how to engage youth to still remain active in the church and how does the church work with them. I’m exiting that generation, because I turned 35, but I was able to speak with them. They feel like sometimes they are turned away from adult organizations, because they are too young and they are told they don’t know what they're talking about or they don’t really have experience.”

18  South Texas Catholic | November 2018

“ Una de las preocupaciones genuinas era cómo involucrar a los jóvenes y a los adultos jóvenes para que permanezcan activos en la Iglesia y de cómo la Iglesia trabaja con ellos. Yo estoy saliendo de esa generación, porque acabo de cumplir 35 años pero aún puedo hablar con ellos. Algunos jóvenes sienten que a veces son rechazados por las organizaciones de adultos porque son demasiado jóvenes y se les dice que no saben de qué están hablando o que en realidad no tienen experiencia.”

Profile for South Texas Catholic

November 2018 - Vol. 53 No.10  

In our November issue, we feature the Quinto Encuentro Team who represented the diocese at the National Convention, their experiences and th...

November 2018 - Vol. 53 No.10  

In our November issue, we feature the Quinto Encuentro Team who represented the diocese at the National Convention, their experiences and th...

Profile for diocesecc