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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in an ongoing effort to more effectively reach Hispanic and Spanish-speaking Catholics, has launched a Spanish-language page on the social-networking site Facebook. The page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/USCCBEspanol, will feature a variety of updates from USCCB on news, issues of concern to the Catholic Church and faith-building resources.
"Hispanics make up 16 percent of the total U.S. population, almost 40 percent of U.S. Catholics, and 50 percent of U.S. Catholics under age 25," said Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Communications. "It is critically important to engage this demographic, especially through the expanding field of social media, and provide them with accurate, quality information that encourages them to grow in their faith."
In a video message posted in Spanish on the new page, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of USCCB's Committee on Cultural Diversity, said the bishops "are grateful for the rich contributions of culture and faith that Hispanics bring to this country and to our Catholic Church," and invited them "in a spirit of faith and kindness" to use the new page to "communicate and dialogue with us."
Content posted to the page will include the essay "Cosas Ordinarias, amor extraordinario: Mother Teresa and Latin America" by TIME Magazine writer David Van
Biema, which depicts Mother Teresa's missionary work from Tijuana, Mexico to Chile. The author describes her work with the poor and how the Missionaries of Charity are established in 65 cities in Latin America. Additionally, photos will show Mother Teresa in her early years helping the poor and sick, her connection to Our Lady of Guadalupe and Shrine in Tijuana built in her name.
USCCB has moderated an English-language page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usccb since 2009. It is currently "Liked" by over 40,000 people. USCCB also provides English and Spanish feeds on Twitter at http://twitter.com/usccb and http://twitter.com/USCCBEspanol.
The launch of the page coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month.Concurrently, USCCB'sSecretariat for Cultural Diversity announced new statistics that reflect the accelerated growth of Hispanic presence in dioceses and archdioceses nationwide. States including North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee have experienced over 100 percent growth over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census. The information is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/hispanic-latino/demographics/
Keywords: Facebook, Spanish, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Census, Bishop John Wester, Bishop Jaime Soto, social media, Twitter, Communications, Cultural Diversity, Hispanic, Latino, Mother Teresa of Calcutta
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