In March, NCCHM's board of directors held the spring meeting at the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) in Miami. As part of our meeting SEPI we also gathered in the Pastoral de Conjunto retreat with members from the boards of the Asociación Nacional de Diáconos Hispanos represented by Deacon Pedro Laboy, La RED represented by Fr. Rafael Capó, the Federation of Pastoral Institutes (FIP) by Laura López. This annual retreat helps national Hispanic ministry leaders focus and reflect on our Pastoral de Conjunto efforts. The retreat closed with a conference with Fr. Alejandro López-Cardinale, president of La RED, Estela Villagrán-Manancero, president of the National Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry, and Robert Hurteau, president of FIP.
I am pleased to announce that our efforts in Pastoral de Conjunto will be focused on the journey, support, and preparations for the V Encuentro. The Encuentro will also be at the heart of the NCCHM 2016 meeting and 25th anniversary celebration, where Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director, of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs presenting the efforts, planning, meetings underway, and how we can all help and support the V Encuentro.
The NCCHM 2016 annual meeting and 25th anniversary celebration is rapidly approaching. If you haven't registered for the June 23-26, 2016 meeting, please do so since space is limited. You can obtain all the information needed for the annual meeting on the NCCHM website: www.ncchm.org.
Pope Francis gave us a document on family and love, "Amoris Laetitia" where he states, "The family is a good, which society cannot do without, and it ought to be protected." The Pope also stated that the church needs to understand families in all their complexities, the integration of married and divorce couples into the Church, and encourages the family to live good Christian lives. "The Church is good for the family and the family is good for the Church," Pope Francis wrote.
Last month we lost a much loved priest, mentor, and friend, Fr. Virgilio Elizondo. In his homily at the memorial Mass, Fr. David Garcia said, "Fr. Virgilio Elizondo left a tremendous and positive influence on the lives of many people. He especially helped the Hispanic community in this country to articulate a theology that allowed us to feel a part of the story of Jesus in a new and deeper way. He inspired, challenged, taught and led us to new paths of thinking about God, Jesus, La Virgen de Guadalupe, the Church, the world and ourselves. He helped us by calling forth the good in each person, especially the marginalized and the poor, so that we all felt an acceptance and welcome that inspired us to treat others in the same way." Our prayers are with Fr. Elizondo and his family.
Nos vemos pronto en Chicago.
Paz y bien,