The Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry (V Encuentro) gathered 3,000 Hispanic/Latino ministry leaders and delegates from dioceses, ecclesial movements, schools, universities, and Catholic organizations from across the country. A priority activity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Strategic Plan for 2017-2020, the V Encuentro is a four-year process of evangelization, mission, and consultation under the theme Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). The process of Encuentro has been the catalyst for developing ministries among Hispanics and Latinos over the past fifty years.
“The V Encuentro national convention for Hispanic/Latino ministry leaders was a wonderful experience of ecclesiastical communion,” says Father Peter Faulk, who attended the conference in Dallas, TX along with Father Adam Travis, and over 3,000 delegates representing more than 165 dioceses in the United States. The V Encuentro’s main goal is “to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence, and to strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to the New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church,” the event’s documents state. Pope Francis spoke via video message, where he exhorted all Catholics in the United States to “not sit on the sidelines” as if “looking down from a balcony,” but to participate fully and vigorously in living the Gospel and to take up the challenge of building unity in the human family.”