The Catholic Church in the United States is in the middle of the process of the V Encuentro. This is a four-year process of ecclesial reflection and evangelization that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and the identification of best ministerial practices in the spirit of the New Evangelization.
The V Encuentro process starts at the grassroots level and calls for the development of resources and initiatives to better serve the fast-growing Hispanic population in dioceses, parishes, ecclesial movements, and other Catholic organizations and institutions in light of its theme, "Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God's Love."
Dioceses in the United States are either providing trainings for the parish teams to hold at their parish Encuentros or the parishes have already begun the parish Encuentros. Parishes in the dioceses are invited to bring together parishioners to meet for five sessions of 60 to 90 minutes each. The parish team is especially invited to work hard toward involving as many young adults in the parish Encuentros as possible. It is important to get their input in this process.
The parish Encuentros consist of small group gatherings on the following themes: "Called to a Loving Encounter with Jesus in the Church," "With Words and Actions: Do It!," "Walking Together with Jesus," "Bearing Fruits of New Life," and "Celebrating the Joy of Being Missionary Disciples."
Our diocese will also be involved in the parish Encuentros. The diocesan training for the parish teams will be taking place in April. The parish Encuentros should be starting shortly after the team training. In the fall, the diocesan Encuentro will take place, and those who participated in the parish Encuentros will be invited to participate in the diocesan Encuentro.
In a letter, Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Texas, and Bishop Nelson Perez, auxilary bishop of the Rockville Center Diocese, wrote to the brothers and sisters participating in the small group session in parishes throughout the entire United States, inviting them all to participate in this initiative of the U. S. bishops calling all Catholic leaders in the United States to listen with profound attention to the needs, challenges and aspirations that the growing Hispanic/Latino population faces in their daily lives.
For more information look on www.vencuentro.org. For information on diocesan training for parish team call the Office of Cultural Diversity 716-847-2217.