Diocesan V Encuentro segment wraps up Print this post

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

10/3/17

The detailed process of getting feedback from the Hispanic/Latino Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Venice, as part of the larger national V Encuentro effort, has concluded.

More than 2,000 people participated in 16 different information sessions at parishes when feedback was solicited as to how the Diocese and the U.S. Bishops can better serve the Hispanic Catholic Community moving forward.

Dr. Hosffmann Ospino, a professor from Boston College and expert on the Hispanic Catholic population of the U.S., spoke to the priests and DREs separately at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, and also here to Hispanic lay leaders at Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers from Sept. 19-20 about the V Encuentro initiative.

In separate sessions in late September, the priests, the Hispanic/Latino community lay leaders, directors of religious education and Parish youth directors heard how the first phase of the Encuentro process went in the Diocese and what will take place to address the growing needs of this segment of the faith community.

Supported by Bishop Frank J. Dewane and organized by Father Claudio Stewart, Director of the Diocese Office of Hispanic Ministries, the seminars were each instructive and served as building blocks to expanding the outreach to Hispanic Catholics – the fastest-growing segment of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Southwest Florida. The Diocese of Venice currently offers Mass in Spanish in 32 of 62 parishes.

Dr. Hosffmann Ospino, a professor from Boston College and expert on the Hispanic Catholic population of the U.S., spoke to the priests and DREs separately at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, and also to Hispanic lay leaders at Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers from Sept. 19-20 about the V Encuentro initiative.

Dr. Hosffmann Ospino, a professor from Boston College and expert on the Hispanic Catholic population of the U.S., spoke at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice to the priests one morning. That evening, Ospino addressed Hispanic lay leaders at Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers. Finally, he talked to DREs and youth directors the next day at Epiphany Cathedral, a talk simulcast to different parts of the Diocese to reach a maximum number of people. Ospino congratulated each group for taking this process seriously and said it is a critical step in embracing this growing segment of the Catholic population.

The main goal of the V Encuentro is to help Hispanic Catholics to strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to the New Evangelization and their inculturation as missionary disciples serving the entire Church in the United States.

The feedback solicited at the parish sessions and in completed online surveys is being compiled and will be shared as part of the national V Encuentro effort.

One important item of solicited feedback that is being addressed immediately is the great desire to have more faith formation programs in Spanish. Bishop Dewane announced that there will be a series of opportunities for Hispanic Catholics to grow in their faith and through use of the Spanish-edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These classes will start in November and will be at different locations throughout the Diocese. Registration is now ongoing and can be found at http://dioceseofvenice.org/programs/hispanic-apostolate/.

“This is just the first step is responding to the solicited feedback needs of the Hispanic faithful of the Diocese,” Bishop Dewane said. “Time will be needed as more initiatives get put into place in the near future.”

For more information about V Encuentro and the Hispanic Outreach of the Diocese, please contact Father Stewart at pastoralhispana@dioceseofvenice.org.

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