NEW YORK — The Province’s Hispanic Ministry blog, “Encuentro Franciscano,” is becoming a resource for friars and their partners in ministry, offering information on issues and best practices, especially related to immigration concerns.
Last week, Holy Name Province friars and ministries were asked to participate in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ postcard campaign for immigration reform. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, posted a message urging friars to take part in the Jan. 3 to 9 campaign to mark National Migration Week.
Parishes and ministries can ask parishioners during weekend Masses to fill out postcards and contact their legislators about immigration reform, said Christopher Posch, OFM, chair of the Province’s Hispanic Ministry Committee.
The bishops expect that immigration discussion will be lively during National Migration Week, Christopher said. HNP parishes, schools, and other sites are encouraged to conduct adult education sessions, prayer services and roundtable discussions on the plight of immigrants. The campaign, he said, “emphasizes the preservation of family unity and our country’s need for workers.”
The blog site also contains Encuentro best practices and pastoral challenges (in English and Spanish), photos, a reflection on Our Lady of Guadalupe, news briefs, and links to HNP Hispanic ministry sites.
Several links to the Encuentro Franciscano blog can be found on the Province’s Web site. One is on the home page, under “News from the Province,” and the other is under the “Who We Are” button.
Christopher maintains the blog along with Christopher VaHaight, OFM, and other members of the Province’s Hispanic Ministry Committee, which organized the Oct. 24 Encuentro Franciscano event in Silver Spring, Md.
For those seeking more information about immigration, Chris recommends a DVD, “Posada: A Night to Cross all Borders,” a story of three immigrant teens who crossed the border without their parents and a family that was deported. “It is an outstanding instrument for making church members and friends aware of the plight of immigrants,” Christopher said. Copies of the DVD can be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 202-347-9797 ext. 204 or visiting the Web site of Posadas Project.
— Jocelyn Thomas is the Province’s director of communications.