Hispanic theology, liturgy and youth ministry were examined at
the National Symposium on the Present and Future of Catholic Hispanic Ministry
in the U.S. Loyola Marymount University’s Department of Theological Studies
hosted the Sept. 16 gathering.
“We are reaching a truly historical time in Church history
when serving Hispanic Catholics is no longer an option, it is a necessity,”
said Robert Hurteau, director of LMU’s Center for Religion and Spirituality.
Michael Lee, S.J., assistant professor of theological studies at LMU, added
that Roman Catholic Canon Law says bishops are obliged to provide formation of
lay ministers to serve the fastest-growing segment of American Catholics.
forum was a follow-up to a June meeting, when more than 60 scholars and
clergymen from LMU, Boston College and the Barry University Institute for
Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry held the first joint symposium on
Hispanic ministry. Participants had been involved in a yearlong process to
produce working papers on topics including evangelization, social justice and
adult lay leadership formation.
September’s meeting was a briefing session for the LMU
community on the findings of the first symposium. Hoffsman Ospino, director of
the symposium at Boston College, Hurteau, Lee and Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu,
professor of theological studies, spoke to the assembly, stressing the
importance of Catholic universities’ involvement with Hispanics.
“We are at the
epicenter of this remarkable ‘Latinization’ of the Church,” Lee said. “This is
inextricably linked to our mission here at LMU to teach the service of faith
and promotion of justice.”