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What is V Encuentro?

What is the V (Fifth) Encuentro? Many parishioners still wonder what it is. One of the reasons and objectives of the V Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Hispana, an initiative of the bishops of the United States, is to encourage the Catholic faithful to listen with deep attention to the needs, challenges and aspirations that the growing Hispanic population faces in their daily lives. Above all, it prepares us as a church to better recognize, embrace and promote the many gifts and talents that Hispanic people share in American life and society.

Most of our parishes have taken seriously this initiative, which included four previous encounters with major pastoral success at the national level.

The Hispanic community at several diocesan parishes is preparing for this encounter. The goal is to strengthen ties of friendship, cooperation, and active and visible participation with our English-speaking brothers. We must recognize that we are not an island; we are not a separate church. We are one family in Christ and together, through the Holy Eucharist, we proclaim one church, one faith and one Jesus Christ.

The V Encuentro has given us the opportunity to prepare ourselves to be true missionary disciples: witnesses of the love of God. It is an excellent intentional process of listening and consultation. Since we have experienced great changes in the approach of the different movements — and personally in each training, visit and support that our office of the Hispanic Apostolate does — we see the need to unite more in prayer to alleviate our fears and support our immigrant families, and to reach the peripheries of our diocese to attract those who have not had a personal encounter with Christ.

A Eucharistic celebration with Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge will be held Dec. 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, at St. Joseph Church in Herndon.

With the spirit of Emmaus we will come to our churches to evangelize and proclaim a living Christ.

Fr. Hoyos is director of the diocesan Spanish Apostolate.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017