Ministry serves — and forms —tomorrow’s church leaders

Call to Share helps the archdiocese reach out to the Hispanic community


 

by Father Pat Murphy, cs

I have been working in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas for almost nine years and from time to time people ask: Why do we have an office of Hispanic ministry?

This is a great question. Let me give you 600,000 reasons why we need Hispanic ministry. A recent study done by Gastón Espinosa, associate professor of religious studies at Claremont McKenna College in California, stated: “Each year as many as 600,000 U.S. Latinos leave the Catholic Church for other Christian denominations.”

This is, indeed, a challenging set of statistics that clearly say why we need to have an office of Hispanic ministry here in the archdiocese. Simply put, if we do not welcome the Hispanic/Latino community, there are many other religions ready to step up to the plate and say, “Mi iglesia es tu iglesia” (“My church is your church”).

Thanks to the Archbishop’s Call To Share, our archdiocese has striven to of- fer a great Kansas welcome to the over 100,000 people who have identified themselves in the 2010 census as being Hispanic and living in our area.

Yes, thanks to all of you who contribute to Call To Share, we are able to offer the following missionary outreach from the office of Hispanic ministry:

  • a three-year faith formation program that meets weekly to prepare 33 leaders for the new evangelization
  • a certification program for 21 catechists that meets weekly to prepare new catechists
  • a Biblical Pastoral Institute that functions in four different regions of the archdiocese with over 100 students enrolled and studying the Bible over a two-year period
  • a dynamic evangelization process called CINE (Communities Integrated for the New Evangelization) that uses the Light of the World retreat model that offers people a weekend encounter with the Lord and a process of small communities in which people meet on a weekly basis to share their faith; we currently have 28 communities.
  • We offer a variety of retreat programs throughout the year: Cursillo, Impactos family retreat, and regional quinceañeras retreats.
  • We organize a variety of formation programs and opportunities every year, such as: workshops for choirs, liturgical ministries, lay ministry in the church, pastoral planning, Project Rachel in Spanish and also one on human relationships.

Yes, much has been done in our efforts to say, “Here I am, Lord,” in terms of ministering to the Hispanic community. But much more needs to be done if we are to keep the Hispanic community in the Catholic Church.

In the name of those I am privileged to serve, I thank you for your ongoing support of the Archbishop’s Call to Share.

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