By Lupita Vital
Director of the Hispanic Apostolate
It has been a pleasure working with the parishes that decided to be a part of V Encuentro. We have experienced the presence of our Lord Jesus just like the disciples of Emmaus did when they saw the Lord resurrected (Lucas 24:13-35).
Currently, we are preparing for the closing Mass for the Diocesan V Encuentro where we invite everyone to attend. Remembering when we started the objectives for V Encuentro, each participating parish in one way or another has done so by going through this process. Those objectives are the following:
- Calling Catholic individuals of the Diocese of San Jose to become authentic missionary disciples by giving witness to God’s love with a prophetic voice and embracing cultural diversity. Bishop Patrick McGrath, in the diocesan pastoral plan, always invites us to become one Church – joyful and committed with those in need;
- Encouraging the mission of the local Church that develops effective ways to invite, accompany and encourage young Hispanic individuals and other cultures and their families to live their baptismal vocation;
- Invite all Catholic Leaders of the Diocese of San Jose to engage and accompany Hispanic Catholics, particularly the most vulnerable and those who find themselves in the periphery of the church and society;
- Identify and promote opportunities for the pastoral leaders of the parishes to serve in leadership positions in the Church and in the larger society, and increase the number of lay and ordained ministers directly engaged in the New Evangelization, especially in the areas of word, worship and witness. This requires a common effort and a process through which the parishes receive new leaders and those who desire the formation of becoming leaders;
- Stimulate a new wave of faith formation and leadership initiatives of development that prepare Catholics of our local church to share and celebrate the good news of Jesus Christ and to become leaven for the reign of God in society. (Some ideas have been used from the Guide of V Encuentro National Ministry of Hispanic/Latino, an initiative of USCCB)
Two other important dates are:
- October 12, Our Lady of Refuge from 6 to 9:30 p.m. This event is for Teens and Young Adults of our Diocese who have not taken the opportunity to go to their parishes’ V Encuentro, Father Hugo Rojas will be guiding this session.
- October 19, Our Lady of Refuge from 6 to 9:30 p.m. there will be a session for the delegates of all parishes that participated. Monsignor Francisco Rios will be leading this session.
I am especially grateful to the pastors, parochial vicars, deacons, leaders, and parishioners. To all the teams that worked in the process of V Encuentro, your help is very important. Let us remember that the church was made with one common effort. Don’t forget to mark your calendar: October 26 at 7 p.m. is the closing mass for V Encuentro. We hope you can participate, as this is important for the growth of our local Church. We are the Church, as Pope Francis tells us!