The Hispanic Ministry Committee met at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., May 20. We discussed immigration issues, the challenges facing Hispanic candidates for the diaconate, the change whereby friars in initial formation will go to Cochabamba after their first year of theology at Holy Name College, and the improvement of frequency and quality of Spanish classes during initial formation. The committee is working on a proposal (perhaps for the 2008 Chapter) on acceptance and formation of undocumented candidates.
This past January, the Provincial Council approved a proposal from the committee that the Province, in an effort to encourage solemnly professed friars to develop their Spanish language skills and their Hispanic cultural literacy, would actively promote opportunities for them to take Spanish courses and/or participate in domestic or international Hispanic cultural immersion programs. The Province will offer to help ministries that are unable to cover the costs of such programs. The committee has compiled a resource list for friars who have such an interest (see the Web link below). If anyone has additions to that list, please send them to Jud Weiksnar.
The next committee meeting will take place at Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C., at 11 a.m. on Sept. 28. As is our custom, the first part of the meeting is devoted to getting input from local friars and partners on Hispanic ministry issues at their parishes or ministries, and to hear their vision for Hispanic ministry in the Province. We hope the Carolina friars, as well as anyone else within easy travel range of Durham, will join us for this meeting. If you do plan to attend, please let Jud know so we can plan for lunch.