RIVERSIDE—After months of parish level consultation and outreach, the Diocese will convene a gathering of more than a thousand people at Riverside City College on August 19 to discuss the important role of Hispanic people in the Catholic Church.
This Diocesan V Encuentro event will welcome delegates from the faith communities of San Bernardino and Riverside counties to gather together around the table, to ponder and analyze the many responses people have offered to the U.S. Catholic Church in the first phase of this four year project.
Leading up to this event the V Encuentro Team of the Diocese has kept busy accompanying all the “Missionary Disciples” who have been gathering important responses from people on the peripheries regarding the consultation the U.S. Bishops have asked from Latino and Hispanic Catholics.
This consultation is essential because it takes place where millions of Hispanic /Latino Catholics live, within the peripheries of families, church and society. Those who reached out and listened attentively to Catholics whom may have felt unheard, desolate, or disaffected, will be challenged to evaluate structures and ways to do ministry as part of a pastoral conversion. Young Catholics have been especially invited to share their hopes and frustrations.
The Diocesan Encuentro Day on August 19 will start at Landis Arena with morning prayer and all parish and Diocesan Encuentro representatives will process in carrying their individual consultation results. Bishop Gerald Barnes will then welcome all officially, starting the gathering.
The three particular groups who will be participating will then gather individually. Young adults and youth will assemble in the RCC Cafeteria, English speaking adults in the auditorium, and Spanish speaking adults will stay at the arena.
Father Allan Deck, S.J., a Distinguished Scholar of Theology and Latino Studies at Loyola Marymount University and a nationally recognized expert in faith and cultural trends in the Church, will then give the keynote address, “Missionary Disciples Witness of the Love of God in the XXI c.”
In the afternoon the three different groups will discuss action steps, choose the Best Pastoral Practices for the Diocese, elect delegates for the upcoming regional Encuentro gathering, and end the day with Mass. Bishop Barnes will bless those who will participate in the Region 11 Encuentro, to be held in the Diocese of Fresno April 26-29, 2017. This gathering will bring representatives of all the dioceses of Nevada, California, and Hawaii to find out all the regional responses to the consultation, what was common and what was different or new.
Those who have not yet participated in the V Encuentro consultation are invited and encouraged to get involved.
“You can still participate and support, responding and promoting a vision of a church in mission that invites, engages and forms youth, families and ecclesial movements to live their baptismal vocation, and bring to a wounded world the Joy of the Gospel,” said Sister Marilu Covani, S.P., Co-Chair of the Diocesan V Encuentro Committee.
Those interested in participating are urged to contact V Encuentro leaders at their parish, or call the Diocesan Committee at (909) 475-5346.