Encuentro to Weave New Net of Faith

A national Latino Catholic youth gathering.

NetHave you ever felt as if you had a foot on each side of a river? Many of us, Hispanic youth who live in the United States, even if we grow up here and get rooted in the culture, life and history of the country, feel as if our roots were somewhere else. We live between languages, cultures, and values. We have learned to maintain a balance between the two worlds that are part of our identity, or at least we have learned to live within both of them. Yet sometimes we feel as if we do not belong to either world, as if we were falling into the abyss between the two cultures that we had tried to bridge with so much work and hope.

One answer to this challenge has come from the U.S. Catholic bishops and the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La Red), who are promoting a series of encuentros for young Latinos at the parish, diocesan, and regional levels. This process will culminate June 8-11, 2006 with the first National Encuentro for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

With the motto "Weaving Our Future Together," the Encuentro process invites us to encounter Jesus in such a way that, with him and in him, we might experience a conversion that will lead us to create a true, mission-oriented community in solidarity. The Encuentro calls us and invites us to live and deepen our faith as Latinos.

This faith that we profess is one of the aspects of our lives most marked by our Hispanic roots. We received our faith from our parents. Our family, culture, art, history, and language merge with our faith and spiritual life in an intimate way.

Since childhood we have kept our faith alive and lived it out within our Latino Catholic identity. The Encuentro is an invitation to celebrate that identity while strengthening the community and union of all those who believe in the risen Christ.

For more information: Download The First National Encounter for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry (156 Kb PDF)

Your turn:

  • What are the aspects of the two cultures in which you live that cause the most stress for you?
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