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Catholic Church Hispanic Outreach Ineffective, Report Says


Regional and national structures provide valuable service to dioceses, Catholic institutions
Report finds underfunding and limited internal capacity undermine effectiveness
WASHINGTON— Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, announced February 4 the completion of a report titled National and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment.
            The assessment produced by Dr. William D. Dinges of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies of The Catholic University of America was based on a survey of 20 regional and national Hispanic Catholic ministry organizations and an analysis of their structures, services, activities and challenges.
            “These organizations are necessary players in promoting Hispanic Catholic leadership development,” said Father Deck.
            In October 2008, a group of Catholic leaders met at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame to advise the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity and its Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs regarding the status of these organizations. Serious concerns surfaced among the advisory group members regarding the financial struggles and limited internal capacity of these organizations, which traditionally have played an essential role in providing professional development, visioning and planning for the growing field of Hispanic ministry.
            The main underscore include the underfunding of these organizations and the limitations on their internal capacity in terms of planning, personnel and fund development. Other concerns includes the high turnover rates in the leadership, and dependency on volunteers which often mean lack of continuity and a “re-invent everything syndrome,” says the study.
            Limited outreach to youth and to a large segment of Hispanics who are not parish affiliates in a formal way are also seen as areas of concern.
            “The NRHM assessment underscores what many Hispanic ministry leaders have been saying: the major challenge in nearly all national and regional Hispanic ministry organizations is the curtailment of their mission due to a severe lack of fiscal and consequently personnel resources,” said professor Tim Matovina of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, and a member of the advisory group. Bolstering the structures that sustain Hispanic ministry is one of the most urgent strategic goals for the vitality of Latino Catholic faith.”
            Michael Brough, director of Planning & Programs, National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management stressed the importance of leadership development and capacity building and the valuable information provided by the assessment in order to tackle those issues.
            “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ assessment of Hispanic ministry organizations and their initiatives, provides importantdata necessary for promoting best practices across a range of temporal issues facing the Church.These include: effective management, sufficient budgets, strategic planning, sustainable fundraising, adequate staffing, and high quality leadership development.  Without this, we will fail as a community to meet the current and future needs of the Hispanic community and all those served by the Church.
            “Given the importance of such intermediate organizations for the Church’s mission and for the U.S. bishops’ priority on recognition of cultural diversity with emphasis on Hispanic ministry, the advisory group will meet again to consider ways in which these organizations can be strengthened,” Father Deck said.
            The bishop’s Committee on Cultural Diversity, and its Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, will review the findings of the report and hear the recommendations of the advisory group in an effort to respond creatively to the challenge of bolstering resources and encouraging best practices.
            The study, which was made possible thanks to grants from Catholic Relief Services and The Catholic University of America, included a variety of organizations such as the National Association of Hispanic Priests (ANSH), Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia, the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM), the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM), several pastoral institutes, Federación de Institutos Pastorales (FIP), the Mexican American Catholic College, a national association of Hispanic Catholic youth ministers (La Red) and diverse regional associations and structures that serve primarily diocesan as well as parish leadership within their region.
            To view National and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment go to
Keywords: Hispanic Ministry, Hispanic Affairs, Father Allan F. Deck, William D. Dinges, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America, Timothy Matovina, Cultural Diversity in the Church, USCCB, Catholic Bishops, Subcommittee for Hispanic Affairs,
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SEC,DD, CathPress, CNS, RNS, Crux
Spanish version follows.

Estructuras proporcionan valiosos servicios a diócesis e instituciones católicas
Falta de recursos económicos y limitada capacidad interna menoscaban efectividad
WASHINGTON—El padre jesuita Allan Figueroa Deck, director ejecutivo del Secretariado de Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia, presentó el 4 de febrero los resultados de un estudio sobre el estado actual de organizaciones e iniciativas católicas al servicio del ministerio hispano. El título del estudio esNational and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment.
            El estudio, elaborado por el profesor Williams D. Dinges del Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies de la Catholic University of America en Washington, está basado en una encuesta y un análisis de las estructuras, servicios, actividades y retos de 20 organizaciones católicas hispanas regionales y nacionales.
            “Estas organizaciones son necesarias para promover el desarrollo del liderazgo católico hispano”, afirmó el padre Deck.
            En octubre de 2008, un grupo de líderes católicos se reunió en el Mendoza College of Business en la Universidad de Notre Dame para aconsejar al Comité de Obispos sobre Diversidad Cultural y al Subcomité parta Asuntos Hispanos sobre el estado de estas organizaciones. Serias preocupaciones emergieron dentro del grupo asesor con respecto al estado financiero y la limitada capacidad interna de estas organizaciones, las cuales han jugado tradicionalmente un papel esencial en el desarrollo profesional, el desarrollo de la visión y la planificación para este área creciente que es el ministerio hispano.  
            Entre los principales hallazgos del estudio está la constatación de la escasez de fondos con que operan la mayoría de estas organizaciones así como su limitada capacidad interna en términos de planificación, personal y generación de recursos económicos. Otras aéreas de preocupación incluyen cambios frecuentes en el liderazgo y la elevada dependencia en los voluntarios, de las cuales se derivan a menudo la falta de continuidad y el “síndrome de reinventarlo todo”, afirma el estudio. 
            La escasez de programas dedicados a la pastoral juvenil y de iniciativas para conectar con un numeroso grupo de católicos hispanos que no están formalmente afiliados con una parroquia son otras de las preocupaciones.
            “Este estudio confirma lo que por algún tiempo han venido expresando muchos líderes en el ministerio hispano: el principal desafío para muchas de las organizaciones regionales y nacionales dedicadas al ministerio hispano es que su misión se ve menoscabada por una falta seria de recursos financieros y consecuentemente de personal”, dijo el profesor Tim Matovina del Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism de la Universidad de Notre Dame, y miembro del grupo asesor. “Fortalecer las estructuras que sostienen al ministerio hispano es una de las metas estratégicas mas importantes para asegurar la vitalidad de la fe católica de los latinos”, añadió.
            Michael Brough, director de planificación y programas de National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management subrayó la importancia de promover el desarrollo del liderazgo y de reforzar y aumentar la capacidad de trabajo y servicios de estas organizaciones. Asimismo, resaltó la valiosa información proporcionada por el estudio para buscar soluciones a estos problemas.
            “El estudio realizado por la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos sobre las organizaciones del ministerio hispano y sus iniciativas proporciona datos importantes y necesarios para promover las mejores prácticas en todo un abanico de asuntos temporales que afectan a la Iglesia. Entre estos se incluye una gerencia efectiva, presupuestos suficientes, planificación estratégica, generación sostenible de fondos, número adecuado de empleados y gran calidad en el desarrollo del liderazgo. Sin esto, fracasaremos como comunidad a la hora de resolver las necesidades presentes y futuras de la comunidad hispana y de todos aquellos a quienes la Iglesia sirve”, afirmó Brough.
            “Dada la importancia de estas organizaciones intermedias para la misión de la Iglesia y para la prioridad expresada por los obispos de dar reconocimiento a la diversidad cultural [en la Iglesia], poniendo un énfasis especial en el ministerio hispano, el grupo asesor se reunirá de nuevo para considerar maneras en las que estas organizaciones pueden ser fortalecidas,” dijo el padre Deck.  
            Tanto el Comité de obispos para la Diversidad Cultural como el Subcomité para Asuntos Hispanos revisarán los resultados de este reporte y escucharán las recomendaciones del grupo asesor en un esfuerzo por responder de forma creativa a los retos de fortalecer los recursos y alentar las mejores prácticas.
            El estudio, que fue posible gracias a fondos donados por Catholic Relief Services y The Catholic University of America, incluyó a una amplia variedad de organizaciones como la Asociacion Nacional de Sacerdotes Hispanos (ANSH), el Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia,   National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM), Nacional Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM), varios institutos pastorales, la Federación de Institutos Pastorales (FIP), el Mexican American Catholic College (MACC), La Red Nacional de Pastoral Juvenil, y diversas asociaciones y estructuras al servicio de la formación del liderazgo hispano diocesano y parroquial en sus regiones.
            Los resultados en inglés del estudio “National and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment” pueden encontrarse en
Etiquetas: Hispanic Ministry, Ministerio Hispano, Allan F. Deck, William D. Dinges, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America, Timothy Matovina, Michael Brough, National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia USCCB, Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Subcomité para Asuntos Hispanos
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CNSSp, Spanish Diocesan, Hispanic-All Media

U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, 3211 4th St., NE, Washington, DC 20017-1194 United States

STORY TAGS: catholic church, latin, american, outreach, hispanic, spanish, latin, latino, latina, faith, religious, church, relations, catholic, outreach, National and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives, latin news, catholic news, religious news, black radio network, minority news

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