Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee (Mark 9:30)
The Fifth Encuentro of the Catholic Church in the United States took place this past weekend in Grapevine, Texas, in the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Several thousand, mostly Hispanic Catholic leaders and many bishops, are celebrating the transforming gifts of the Hispanic Catholic community — gifts to share with the whole Church. This Encuentro is the result of years of planning that involved regional meetings across the United States, listening to the concerns and needs of the Catholic Church.
Over three days, the conference is focusing on the journey of faith. The first day, Thursday, dealt with engagement of the Church, going out from the comfort zone of concern for itself to become a truly missionary Church of disciples reaching out to others. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre offered the Pope Francis challenge not to be “balcony Christians” who stand and watch the procession go by and criticize others from a distance. Rather, missionary disciples go out from the center, which is Christ, to meet him in the peripheries where the poor, the marginalized, and the lonely are to be found.
Friday, the emphasis switched to accompaniment. Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas stated, “We have to walk together or we will not get there.”
We must be a Church that accompanies all the men and women of our time. Jesus Christ is alive! The Holy Spirit is flowing! This is Fire! (Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR)
Saturday, the emphasis was on the ways in which engagement, and accompaniment lead to bearing fruit that will last.
Being here on the Encuentro journey with so many delegates is filling all of us with hope and excitement about the future of the Church in the United States of America, blessed as it is with the rich gifts of the Hispanic community. We are praying together, sharing meals and Masses and celebrating a great family reunion. This journey will bear much fruit in our own lives and in the Catholic community in the United States of America and beyond for many years. This certainly comes at a providential moment for the beleaguered People of God in America and around the globe.
Thank you, Encuentro V! Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Our Lady of Guadalupe!
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Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.