Pastoral Juvenil Hispana

Christus Vivit: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

Pope Francis launched a Synod process in October 2016, seeking to provide a Catholic response to the reality of young people in connection to faith, the community of the Church, and each one’s vocational calling. That journey continued through to the Synod of Bishops in October 2018 and the subsequent release of Christus Vivit, Pope Francis' post-synodal apostolic exhortation, in April 2019. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis writes “to young people and to the entire people of God,” and shares his insights on the accompaniment, engagement, and vocational mission of youth and young adults. We recommend visiting our online guide for Christus Vivit, and our Upcoming Opportunities page for upcoming opportunities related to discussing and implementing Christus Vivit.

Quienes Son 'Los Jovenes'?A young man sharing his laptop screen illustrates the Catholic Communication Campaign's efforts to evangelize through the media.

In Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry, the term 'jovenes' is used to describe young people between the ages of 18-35, and ministry with them is known as "pastoral juvenil hispana".

The USCCB recognizes the vastness of this age demographic and the rich diversity that the Hispanic/Latino culture contributes to the life of the Church. What unites them all is their youthful enthusiasm and energy, but also the challenges of transition and discovery. Pastoral Juvenil ministries celebrate the excitement and optimistic outlook of immigrant generations and those that follow and offers opportunities for holistic growth and pastoral care for our young people.

'Los Jovenes' represent men and women in their late teens, twenties, and thirties who represent diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, vocational, social, political, and spiritual backgrounds. They are college students, workers, and professionals; they are persons in military service; they are single, married, divorced, or widowed; they are with or without children; they are newcomers in search of a better life.

About Our Office

In service to the bishops of the United States, the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth aims to provide support and guidance for the pastoral work towards youth and young adults in light of the New Evangelization. By connecting with dioceses and Catholic youth, young adult and Pastoral Juvenil ministry organizations across the United States, the USCCB offers a network of resources and information that can foster growth in the Church's outreach and ministry with our young people throughout the country.

Pastoral Juvenil/Ministry with Hispanic Youth and Young Adults

"Supporting our jovenes' Hispanic identity and their openness to other cultures has been one of the constant values of Hispanic ministry. All pastoral action, if t is to be effective, must take into account the person and his or her history and culture, as Jesus demonstrated when he was incarnated into the history and culture of His time" (Statement of the Board of Directors of La RED, Conclusiones, 2006).
In ministry and catechesis with jovenes, several important themes need to be emphasized: the formation of conscience, education for love, vocational discernment, Christian involvement in society, missionary responsibility in the world, the relationship between faith and reason, the existence and meaning of God, the problem of evil, the Church, the objective moral order in relation to personal subjectivity, the relationship between man and woman, and the social doctrine of the Church, paying particular attention to cultural roots and traditions that strengthen our identity in Jesus Christ.


  • To connect jovenes with Jesus Christ through spiritual formation/direction, religious education/formation, and vocational discernment
  • To connect jovenes to the Church through evangelizing outreach, the formation of the faith community, and pastoral care.
  • To connect jovenes with the mission of the Church in the world through forming a Christian conscience, educating and developing leaders for the present and future.
  • To connect jovenes with a peer community through developing peer leadership and identifying a young adult team for the purpose of forming faith communities of peers.


  • Jovenes, especially young migrants and immigrants, have left home and lack resources and a place to call home where they are freely able to worship and participate in the life of the Church.
  • Jovenes have been captivated by the consumerism and materialism of the society in which they grew up and have became apathetic and cynical. 
  • Young adulthood is sometimes a world of boredom, disillusionment, and indifference to the Church. 
  • Jovenes need a non-threatening place where they can freely express their questions, doubts, and even disagreements with the Church and where the teachings of the Church can be clearly articulated and related to their experience.
  • Jovenes make some of the most important decisions in their lives about their Christian vocation, their career, and their choice of spouse.

Pope Francis holds an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe after receiving it as a gift from a journalist aboard the papal flight to Brazil. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In 2006, at the University of Notre Dame, the First National Encounter for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry (Primer Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana-PENPHJ) began.  This event, from June 8-11, highlighted the necessity to edify and support the efforts of our ministries, organizations, and leadership initiatives that are offered for our Latino young people. Through this Encuentro process, this dialogue concretely identified the needs, aspiration, and pastoral commitments of our adolescents and jovenes.  The mission, vision, and principles of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana were laid out and identified in the quality pastoral practices that were effective at the parish, diocesan and national levels. The Conclusiones document highlights the continued need for support of young people in their parishes, diocese, apostolic movements, regional and national levels.

Order the Book

Oracion del Quinto Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Hispana/Latina

Dios misericordioso,
Tú que saliste al encuentro
de los discípulos de Emaús,
concédenos un espíritu misionero
para salir al encuentro
de nuestros hermanos y hermanas,
unirnos a su caminar cotidiano,
escuchar sus tristezas y alegrías,
encender sus corazones
con el fuego de tu Palabra,
prepararlos a reconocerte en la Eucaristía
y enviarlos como discípulos misioneros
a compartir la alegría del Evangelio
a generaciones presentes y futuras
de toda raza, lengua y cultura.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Te lo pedimosdesde nuestros corazones ardientes
en el Espíritu Santo,
en nombre de tu Hijo amado
y por la intercesión de nuestra Madre
María de Guadalupe,
Estrella de la Nueva Evangelización.

Jornada Mundial de la Juventud/World Youth Day

Pope Francis meeting with young people at the John Paul II Diocesan Youth Center in Sarajevo during his June 2015 visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  CNS Photo/Paul HaringPope John Paul II announced the institution of World Youth Day in December 1985, as an annual gathering of youth and young adults (between the ages of 16-35) for prayer, worship, and celebration of the Catholic faith.  The event is observed annually in dioceses and every two to three years at an international gathering.

For over 30 years, World Youth Day has been impacting the lives of youth and young adults of all cultural traditions, allowing them to witness around the world to the Gospel and to the life of the Catholic faith. To learn more about upcoming World Youth Days (locally in 2017 and 2018, and internationally in Panama in 2019), as well as other World Youth Day opportunities and information, visit the official websites: and

Resources and Opportunities

The following organizations and initiatives are in collaboration with the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and other USCCB offices in the promotion, formation, and support of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana. You can find an array of knowledge, helpful resources, and training opportunities pertaining to Pastoral Juvenil and the work in Hispanic Ministry done throughout the United States. 

Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church: Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs


The Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs is under the direction of and assists the Committee on Cultural Diversity within the Church by working collaboratively with the committee and other USCCB committees to affirm the gifts and contributions of Hispanic Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Hispanic Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelization mission.

El Subcomité en Asuntos Hispanos, bajo la dirección del Comité de Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia, trabaja en colaboración con el comité y otros comités de USCCB para afirmar los regalos y contribuciones de católicos hispanos y proporcionar más oportunidades para que católicos hispanos entren en la vida de la Iglesia y conozcan su misión en la evangelización.

The National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La RED)

La Red LogoThe National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La RED)  is an inclusive association of Roman Catholic Church organizations and pastoral ministers committed to the evangelization, holistic development, and ongoing support and formation of Hispanic youth and young adults in the United States. La RED promotes the articulation of its members at the national and regional levels.

La RED Nacional Católica de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La RED) es una asociación inclusiva de organizaciones Católicas de ministros pastorales comprometidos a la evangelización, desarrollo integral, asesoría y formación de la juventud hispana en los Estados Unidos. La RED promueve la articulación de sus miembros a nivel nacional y regional.

Instituto Pastoral del Sureste (SEPI)

SEPI LogoThe regional office for Hispanic Ministry and its Pastoral Institute, SEPI assists the Southeast US Catholic Bishops (Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee), to form and train leaders in their faith and culture for the integration of the Hispanic community in the life of the Church and society.

La Oficina Regional para el Ministerio Hispano y su Instituto Pastoral, SEPI asisten a los Obispos Católicos del sureste (Alabama, Carolina del Norte y del Sur, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Luisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee) a desarrollar y entrenar líderes en su fe y cultura para la integración de la comunidad hispana en la vida de la Iglesia y de la sociedad.    

Instituto de Fe y Vida

Instituto fe y vida LogoInstituto Fe y Vida (Fe y Vida) is a national non-profit Catholic leadership institute widely recognized as the authority in the field of Hispanic youth and young adult ministry in the United States, and the leading agent in bringing the Bible to young Latinos throughout the Americas. Instituto Fe y Vida equips ministers, young adult leaders, and parents to promote evangelization and faith formation among young Latinos, particularly in the United States, by fostering their own development and their mission in the Church and in the world. 

El Instituto Fe y Vida (FE y VIDA) es un instituto de liderazgo católico y sin fines de lucro reconocido extensamente como la autoridad en el ministerio de pastoral juvenil en los Estados Unidos, así como el principal agente de pastoral en hacer llegar la Biblia a la juventud latina por todo el Continente Americano. El Instituto Fe y Vida fomenta la fe y la esperanza en la juventud católica hispana, propicia su madurez, así como su desarrollo humano y social, con un enfoque cimentado íntegramente en nuestra tradición católica, para que sean líderes efectivos en la Iglesia y la sociedad.

V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry

V Encuentro LogoThe V Encuentro is a three-year process of pastoral-theological reflection culminating in a national event, followed by one year of training and implementation. The process includes a broad consultation on the needs, aspirations, and contributions of Hispanic/Latinos, and the pastoral actions needed to address them. The outcome of the consultation is articulated through the celebration of Encuentro at the parish, diocesan, regional and national levels. 

El V Encuentro es un proceso de tres años de reflexión teológico-pastoral que culmina en un evento nacional, seguido por un año de formación e implementación. El proceso incluye una amplia consulta de las necesidades, aspiraciones y contribuciones de hispanos/latinos, y las acciones pastorales necesarias para abordarlas. El resultado de la consulta se articula a través de encuentros del nivel parroquial, diocesano, regional y nacional.

Pathways of Hope and Faith Among Hispanic Teens: Pastoral Reflections and Strategies Inspired by the National Study of Youth and Religion

  Edited by Ken Johnson-Mondragón.

"Building on the largest national survey of teenage religion ever conducted, leading Catholic and Protestant experts recount in unprecedented detail the experiences of God, faith, community, youth ministry, and family among the fastest-growing segment of young people in the country— Latinos. Listen as young Hispanics describe their faith and hopes in their own words; gain understanding of the major issues affecting their religious development and life prospects; and improve your ministry or family life with insightful pastoral recommendations."