V Encuentro: Parishes invited to share “Stories of Discipleship”

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By Sister Marilu Covani, SP

 Our recent Diocesan Theme has been Siempre Adelante—“Always Forward.” As the Coordinator of the V Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino ministry, I am inviting you to keep alive this process in your parishes, homes, neighborhoods and the many peripheries that have been visited. 

 A lot has been accomplished during these past years; new leaders have emerged and the participants have had multiple opportunities for formation, faith sharing and collaboration. As missionary disciples we have offered hospitality in many different and varied situations, encountering and inviting others to come and celebrate our faith together. In parishes that participated in the V Encuentro, new leadership has developed, young adults have been engaged. 

 Bishop Gerald Barnes wishes to see the momentum of the V Encuentro process continue in our local Church. He offers this message: 

 “The Fifth Encuentro lives on.  Encuentro is a process; one that can lead to missionary discipleship.  We have experienced it in parishes, in the Diocese and in our region and nation.  The Encuentro process has produced missionary disciple leadership in many of our parishes.  Some are leaders whose ministry has received a new impetus; others are new ministers and many are young adults.   The process continues.  If you are interested in starting the process in your parish or ministry groups, please let us know.  It can be done in a number of ways and at different times of the year.  It allows for creativity and its results are Gospel renewal.  I bless this endeavor and I encourage you to learn more about the Encuentro process.”

 We are inviting all delegates with fellow Catholic church members through the BYTE and El Compás newspapers in the coming months to share their achievements and what they are presently doing, and submit their personal accounts to our Office. Written entries that are submitted may periodically appear in different formats through diocesan media and communications.

 One example of missionary activity in our Diocese is our response through “Operación Bienvenida” at Our Lady of Soledad in the Coachella Valley. Many Encuentro delegates, members of the Valley Missionary Program, and parishioners have been providing and offering hospitality for the past nine months to predominantly Central American refugees on their way to connect with their relatives throughout the continental U.S. 

 We want to share with the community these kinds of inspiring “Stories of Discipleship” taking place in our parishes. If you have one, please feel free to call (909) 475-5346 or email mcovani@sbdiocese.org