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Message from Alejandro Aguilera-Titus: Assistant Director, Hispanic Affairs

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,

2012 is packed with good news!

2012 promises to be a historic year of celebration and new beginnings for Hispanic/Latino ministry in the United States. On the calendar, we have the celebration of the Twenty-First Anniversary of the founding of NCADDHM, which will be held from August 6-8 in Chicago. During this great event, we will have the opportunity to celebrate founding anniversaries of Hispanic/Latino ministry such as:

  • 10 years of Encuentro and Mission: A Renewed Pastoral Framework for Hispanic Ministry
  • 20 years of the first Congress of Raícesy Alas held in Los Angeles, CA (NCCHM)
  • 25 years of the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry
  • 40 years of the founding of the Mexican American Cultural Center / Mexican American Catholic College (MACC)
  • 40 years of the First National Hispanic Ministry

All these achievements invite us to remember the past with gratitude and launch us into a new beginning in Hispanic / Latino ministry.

A central plank in this new beginning is called the New Evangelization. Pope Benedict recently created the Pontifical Council on the New Evangelization with the intention to fan the flame of faith among the baptized who have drifted away from the life of the church. Bishops in many nations have adopted this appeal in their pastoral plans and see the urgency to recover the evangelizing missionary vocation of their local churches.

The current emphasis on being a missionary and evangelizing church is a direct affirmation to the pastoral vision of Hispanic/Latino ministry which, since its inception, has recognized the missionary and evangelizing sense as fundamental to the pastoral care of the church. In fact, the document Encuentro y Misión, has the New Evangelization as central to Hispano/Latino ministry.

As we prepare for this new beginning of the Hispanic / Latino ministry let us be inspired by the words of Pope Benedict XVI on the New Evangelization:

A new evangelization is synonymous with mission, requiring the capacity to set out anew, go beyond boundaries and broaden horizons. The new evangelization is the opposite of self-sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo mentality and an idea that pastoral programs are simply to proceed as they did in the past. Today a "business as usual" attitude can no longer be the case. Some local Churches, already engaged in renewal, reconfirm the fact that now is the time for the Church to call upon every Christian community to evaluate their pastoral practice on the basis of the missionary character of their program and activities.

Synod of Bishops XIII Ordinary General Assembly, The New Evangelization for the Transmission of Christian Faith, Lineamenta, #10

Alejandro Aguilera-Titus
Assistant Director

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