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27 January 2022
From April 26 to 30, the Sixth National Catholic Congress of Hispanic Ministry in the United States, “Raíces y Alas,” will take place in Washington, DC. It is organized by the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM), which brings together the main national institutions of Hispanic Ministry in the United States.
Synodality, social justice, lay, female and youth leadership
We are currently in a process of dialogue in the Church, about synodality, empowerment of female, youth, and lay leadership, and community work. We believe that this is a very special moment to fulfill the vision of a Church on the go, which is listening to respond to the challenges of the times.
It has the particularity of having a national scope -and beyond-, of being profoundly rooted in the spirit of the Church, and of being organized by the lay leadership with the support and accompaniment of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), as well as the participation of personalities from the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the Holy See. Synodality includes all the people of God in their immense variety and richness, in the same spirit.
Raíces y Alas: From the Ecclesial Assembly to the Synod of Bishops.
Last November, the first continental ecclesial assembly in history took place. It was organized by CELAM, for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the main novelty was that it was not “episcopal,” that is, not especially for bishops, but embraced all the people of God. One thousand participants took part in the assembly, 900 virtually and 100 in person. 70 national Hispanic ministry leaders from the United States were online assembly members. Most of these U.S. leaders are now involved in the organization of the Raíces y Alas congress, which seeks to pursue the path of Hispanic ministry in the United States and face its great challenges, feeling integrated with the reality lived in the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America, and with the intention of making a contribution so that the profound message of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality takes root deeply in the Catholic people and bears abundant fruit.
Thus, we take the prophetic voice of Pope Francis and we want to walk the synodal path with him and with the whole Church, following the synodal keys proposed by the Pope at the opening of the Synod: COMMUNION, PARTICIPATION AND MISSION.
Four pastoral priorities in the spirit of synodality
The Raíces y Alas congress will delve into four pastoral priorities from the synodal spirit:
– Hispanic Youth Ministry
– Social Justice
– and Pastoral Formation
Pastoral de Conjunto in synodality
“Now is the time for the leadership who serve in Hispanic ministry to discern with our bishops on the actions we are called to take in response to the voices of the V Encuentro,” says Elisabeth Román, NCCHM president and Raíces y Alas general coordinator. “This is a call to action at a time when our people face even greater challenges. Things are not the same in our ministries, dioceses, and parishes in the aftermath of a pandemic that has severely impacted Hispanic and Black communities. We will gather leaders in Pastoral de Conjunto, in synodality, and in prayer, so that together we can reflect on the pastoral initiatives needed for the present reality and act accordingly.”
Synodality means first of all to listen, to go out to meet the other, to share, to offer oneself….
Synodality means dictating less and sharing decisions.
Synodality means being open to the Holy Spirit in one’s own heart, in the heart of the other and in the heart of the people.
Synodality implies deep humility, awareness that God speaks to us through the Sacred Scriptures, the Tradition of the Church, its Magisterium, and also the signs of the times.
Synodality implies not believing that we know more than others.
Synodality demands going out of our comfort zone and breaking the barriers of our structures that do not allow us to open ourselves to the voice of God in our hearts.
Members of the press
We will be updating this information in future installments.
We look forward to your presence at this important event for the Church in the United States.
More information can be obtained through our website: www.ncchm-us.org, both in Spanish and English.
Information for members of the press and the registration form can be accessed through the following link: www.ncchm-us.org/press.
We would be grateful if you would spread the word about this event. Thank you so much!
Congress Raíces y Alas