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What's New and Key Documents:
The USCCB Special Task Force to Promote Peace In Our Communities released the written version of the report presented at the November assembly. It includes recommendations for bishops to continue the vital work of fostering healing and lasting peace in communities across the U.S. through concreate action, ongoing dialog and opportunities for encounter.
Secretariat Newsletter: The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church Fall/Winter 2016 newsletter, One Church Many Cultures: The Good News of Cultural Diversity. This resource covers new initiatives, programs, news, and much more!
News Release: Study on Cultural Diversity Displays Catholic Church's Growing Multicultural Parish Population. Check out the study!
The mandate of the Committee of Cultural Diversity in the Church, and its corresponding Secretariat, is to be present on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference to the many cultures, ethnicities and races that today constitute the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The goal is to encourage the inclusion and fuller participation of all God's People in the life and ministry of the Church by building up their Catholic identity in a spirit of unity in diversity.
Throughout the United States we experience a profound demographic shift as Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Caribbean people, and many other communities of non-European origin are on the rise. Today, as ever, the Church's mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and promote the life and dignity of each and every human being has much to do with insight into cultures. Catholic parishes are moving from mono-cultural patterns to ones we call "shared," that is, to parishes in which more than one language, racial or cultural group seek to celebrate the Eucharist and embody Christian community. For ministers and pastoral workers to be effective in this diverse environment, the right knowledge, attitudes and skills need to be developed.
Our Intercultural Competencies page explains the five competencies that were defined by the U.S. bishops in making “Recognition of Cultural Diversity in the Church” one of their priorities. The manual Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers has been developed and can be found online or obtained in print from USCCB Publishing. Regional trainings on the competencies are being scheduled at this time. Visit the Intercultural Competency site often for updates. If interested in hosting or organizing a training, please contact Yolanda Taylor-Burwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-541-3152.
The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity is also looking for opportunities to partner with Catholic colleges and universities, and other institutions of higher education to disseminate the competency guidelines. Contact the Secretariat’s executive director, Mar Muñoz-Visoso, for information: email@example.com or 202-541-3350. A study of “Best Practices in Shared Parishes” for pastors and their teams also is forthcoming. Under the title “So That They All May Be One,” this resource was developed in consultation with and from the experience of nearly 20 pastors of multicultural/shared parishes from around the country.
Just as with the first evangelization, the New Evangelization compels us to go and make disciples of all nations. In the United States of America we do not need to go too far to find people “of all nations.” That’s our blessing and our challenge.
Mar Munoz-Visoso, MTS
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