¡Que viva el papa! Five years of the first Latin American pope


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. 

This Tuesday was the five-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as Bishop of Rome. America is marking the election of the first Latin American pope with a special issue filled with stories that unpack the influence of his pontificate.


Michael O’Loughlin reports on a new Pew Research Center poll, which shows that Americans still love Francis. David Gibson walks readers through “factors that have fueled the public’s fascination with Francis.”

Mr. O’Loughlin and Mr. Gibson joined James Martin, S.J., for a live discussion of Pope Francis on Facebook. They praised the interview conducted in 2013 by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., which gives great insight into how Francis sees himself, how he relates to God and how he believes Catholics should be merciful toward others.

Why the wall won’t solve the immigration problem

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump inspected eight border wall prototypes in southern California, saying that without “a wall system, you’re not going to have a country.”

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, in a statement responding to Mr. Trump’s visit to the border, called the wall “ineffective and grotesque.” “Our faith is in the God who is the Father of us all, and who urges us to see Jesus himself in the immigrants and refugees who seek safety and freedom,” he said.

While Mr. Trump says the wall can stop illegal immigration, the larger problem comes from people who enter the country legally and overstay their visas, according to Kevin Appleby of the Center for Migration Studies in New York. Overstays account for about two-thirds of new undocumented immigrants, a pattern that began in 2007.

Fear of ICE keeps some participants away from Encuentro gathering

Fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, kept a number of participants away from last weekend’s regional Encuentro at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Mass.

“We’ve had people picked up as they go to New Hampshire,” Patricia Pora, R.S.M., said in an interview with America. Sister Pora is the director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Portland, Maine. “Those are the stories that are going around,” she said, adding that even immigrants with legal residency are “trying to stay out of sight of immigration.”

The regional Encuentro last weekend, which drew an estimated 600 participants, was one more step in the V Encuentro process. Encuentro, which means “Encounter,” is an initiative from the U.S. bishops that seeks to better serve the growing Latin American community.

Don’t miss: Antonio De Loera-Brust writes about the lasting influence of Cesar Chavez and Robert Kennedy.

Thanks for reading. A great way to support America is to subscribe 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.
Dr.Cajetan Coelho
5 months ago

Pope Francis inspires. May the Holy Father be blessed with strength and stamina.


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