March 2: This week’s top U.S.-Latino Catholic news

(CNS Photo) 

At America, we are committed to fostering meaningful conversations about the future sustainability and growth of the U.S. Catholic Church, giving particular attention to Hispanic Catholics. This newsletter is a tool for that conversation.

Each week, it will highlight news, culture and trends related to Latino Catholics. The terms“Latino” and “Hispanic” are themselves simplifications. To fully understand what is emerging in the United States requires us to live together. This newsletter is an effort to give a fuller picture of the new life that is unfolding before us. To receive this important expert analysis in your inbox, sign up here. 

V Encuentro: How to reach fallen-away Latino Catholics


Last weekend, hundreds gathered for regional Encuentro meetings in Miami, Fla., and Phoenix, Ariz. V Encuentro is a four-year process that embodies Pope Francis’ call to become a church of missionary disciples.

In Phoenix, representatives from 10 dioceses in five states sent delegates to share what they had discovered at the parish and diocesan levels. Encuentro, which means “encounter,” challenges participants to reach out to those who are on the periphery of the church and society.

“People are really engaging in the process. They’re really hoping that something concrete happens as a result,” said Ignacio Rodriguez, the associate director of ethnic ministries for the Diocese of Phoenix. “People are already experiencing conversions.”

Through the Encuentro process, the church hopes to better understand the needs of the growing Hispanic community in the United States. A larger gathering this September will bring 3,000 Latino ministry leaders from across the country to the city of Grapevine, a few miles northwest of Dallas. The V Encuentro project will continue through 2020, sharing the fruits of consultation.

What about the Dreamers?

This week,Catholic News Service reported that 45,000 calls were made to members of Congress during a national call-in for Dreamers organized bythe U.S. bishops. An estimated 800,000 Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors, have been allowed to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama administration policy that protected them from deportation.

Last September, the Trump administration announced the policy was to end on March 5. On Feb. 26, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to two lower-court decisions that have temporarily blocked the Trump administration from terminating DACA.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the Supreme Court’s action, while granting a reprieve, still leaves Dreamers facing an uncertain future.

“Now is the time to pass legislation that enables the Dreamers to become citizens and full contributing members of our society,” he said. “It is long past time for members of Congress to take their responsibilities seriously—seriously enough that they are willing to act with courage to negotiate and seek compromises and resist the temptation to keep using this issue for political advantage.”

As they rallied for Dreamers, dozens of Catholics, including religious sisters, were arrested near the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 27 in the rotunda of a Senate building in Washington. Yet these efforts appear to be falling on deaf ears. Yesterday, in aninterview with National Public Radio, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois, said the midterm elections in November would determine the fate of the Dreamers.

[Sign up for Convivir, a new weekly newsletter that highlights the latest news, culture and trends related to Latino Catholics.]

Art for Catholic education

The Saint Ann Latino Contemporary Art Auction is raising money to help Latino children attend Catholic school in South Florida, according to the Naples News Daily.

Fourteen artists will share the proceeds of sales of the March 7 auction to benefit Catholic education while raising awareness of their work. The event is invitation-only.

Don’t miss: Michael O’Loughlin writes about thekey phrase that helps Catholics understand our first Latin American pope.

Thanks for reading. A great way to support America is tosubscribe to the magazine. If you have any feedback about the Convivir newsletter, I’m at your service.

Your brother in Christ,

J.D. Long-García

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018