Evangelization tops U.S. bishops’ priorities in new Hispanic pastoral plan 

Concern Over Declining Hispanic Catholicism

A 2023 Pew Research Center study has highlighted a concerning trend: a rising number of young Hispanics are straying from the Catholic faith, choosing to disassociate themselves from it.

In response, US bishops have expressed worry and formulated a plan to address this worrisome disengagement.

Emphasizing Evangelization and Engagement

The bishops stress the importance of strategic efforts in evangelization, aiming to make Hispanic/Latino individuals less susceptible to evangelical Christian influences and the growing population of ‘nones.’ T

he goal is to equip Church leaders, including seminarians and pastors, with adequate Hispanic/Latino ministry training to effectively engage this demographic.

Pastoral Priorities and Parish-Centric Approach

A 10-point pastoral plan, including priorities such as evangelization, faith formation, youth ministry, and vocations, serves as the blueprint for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic institutions.

Central to the bishops’ approach is enhancing Hispanic/Latino ministry within parishes, ensuring access to Mass and sacraments in Spanish, tailored to the community’s spirituality.

Fostering Vocations and Quincentennial Celebrations

Encouraging vocation discernment among Hispanic youth is a significant aim, with an emphasis on nurturing more priests, deacons, and religious men and women.

Looking ahead, the bishops envision a 2031 national celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s apparition, intending to rejuvenate the Church’s evangelizing efforts.

Forward Steps and Prayerful Resolution

The plan outlines a path forward, including a discernment process among regional teams of Hispanic Catholics in 2024 and a national celebration in 2031.

The ultimate aspiration is a revival of the Church’s evangelizing mission, encapsulated in a closing prayer for a missionary spirit and the rekindling of faith across diverse communities.

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