Pastoral Dimensions and Developmental Stages

Ongoing Development of Hispanic Ministry

As a responsibility of the entire Church, Hispanic ministry calls for the strongest pastoral response from every U.S. diocese and parish where Hispanic Catholics live.

This important ministry also calls for an equally strong pastoral response on the part of all Catholic institutions and organizations.

The following suggested actions are the fruit of a consultation process guided by the historical memory of Hispanic ministry and by the values and principles of Encuentro 2000: Many faces in God’s house.

Pastoral Dimensions of Hispanic Ministry in Light of the New Evangelization

Pastoral de Conjunto

Missionary Option

Liturgy & Prayer Life


New Evangelization and Formation

  • Commit to the academic and professional development of Hispanics

  • Foster an integral leadership formation model

  • Establish solid and accessible faith formation programs

  • Make the formation of young Hispanics, especially young adult Hispanics, an urgent priority

New Evangelization and Missionary Option

  • Renew the Church’s commitment to reach out to inactive Catholics

  • Develop ministry models that serve young people, women, men, and families

  • Promote active participation in civic life and advocacy efforts

  • Intensify social ministry

New Evangelization and Pastoral de Conjunto

  • Develop a common vision and mission for Hispanic ministry

  • Strengthen the structures for Hispanic ministry

  • Develop a strategy for pastoral de conjunto (communion in mission)

  • Foster the development of Hispanic ministry leaders

New Evangelization and Liturgy & Prayer Life

  • Increase participation in the liturgical life of the Church

  • Make God’s saving grace more visible in the lives of the faithful

  • Intensify the formation of liturgical ministers

  • Create opportunities for all the faithful to celebrate together in different settings (popular piety)

Stages to Develop Hispanic Ministry

  • These stages are offered to develop Hispanic ministry in parish life and in other Catholic institutions and organizations

  • They follow a developmental sequence that brings Hispanic Catholics, and other groups, from newcomers to stewards of the faith community

  • It also transforms parishes into missionary and evangelizing faith communities that embrace all the baptized in their God-given human diversity

Developing a Sense of Belonging

Stage 1: Meet people where they are at

Hispanic Catholics rejoice when other Catholics:

  • Visit them with good news

  • Affirm their gifts and contributions

  • Invite them to the faith community to be at home away from home


Stage 2: Make people feel at home

Hispanics feel welcomed when they:

  • Have the ecclesial space to be themselves

  • Have room to develop their own sense of identity

  • Adapt to a different culture from a position of strength

Stage 3: Develop ministries and ministers

Hispanics are empowered when:

  • They provide for their own ministerial needs and aspirations

  • Parish staff and leaders work with them to develop a comprehensive ministry

  • Ministries include the four dimensions of Christian life modeled in the first Christian communities (Acts 2: 42-47) and included in Encuentro and Mission

Weaving a New Diverse Community

Stage 4: Build relationships across cultures and ministries

Hispanics are willing to:

  • Share their stories, religious traditions and cultural richness

  • Celebrate faith and life together with other ministries and cultures

  • Build relationships, community and unity between Hispanics from different countries of origin and with the other cultural communities and ministries of the parish

Stage 5: Champion leadership development and formation

Hispanic leaders are eager to:

  • Learn and seek opportunities for ongoing faith formation and training for ministry

  • Invest time and talent in certificates and degree programs that are accessible

  • Be recognized and supported as ministers by the entire parish community

Stage 6: View and manage crisis as opportunities for growth

Hispanics seek more:

  • Meaningful ways to be involved in the life of the faith community

  • Responsiveness from all parsih staff on the needs and aspirations of their families and communities

  • Recognition by parish leadership and structure as members on equal terms

Achieving Ownership and Stewardship

Stage 7: Open wide the doors to the decision making process

Hispanics want:

  • Space at the table where decisions are made on Hispanic ministry

  • An active voice on the life and direction of the faith community as a whole

  • A place in the parish council, parish staff and other decision making groups

Stage 8: Sow and reap full ownership and stewardship

As disciples of Christ, Hispanics seek to:

  • Contribute time, talent and treasure

  • Build a culturally diverse faith community that is their own

  • Be active participants of a community of faith in which all cultures are constantly transformed by Gospel values in order to be leaven for the kingdom of God in society

Stage 9: Achieve full commitment to the life and mission of the parish

Hispanics commit to:

  • Strengthen the unity of the parish while honoring its diversity

  • Be alert and ready to invite and welcome newcomers in their midst

  • Become gente-puente by ministering with Catholics of all cultural backgrounds