President’s Message

Dear FCH members,

It brings me great joy to address you all as the new FCH President, a position I am truly honored to hold.

As many of you know, the 2016 FCH NCCL Pre-Conference was held on Sunday May 22nd at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, Florida. The theme this year was: “La Familia: Encounters of Hope in Faith.” We are grateful that it turned out to be another fruitful gathering. There were approximately 70 people in attendance from all over the country, including a few first-time attendees. Always present at the FCH Pre-Conference are the publishers who continue to support this gathering and the overall mission of FCH. We are grateful to them for their collaboration.

This year we had three distinct presenters: Dr. Gloria Rodriguez, Mr. Juan Carlos Moreno, and Mr. Gerardo Salazar. Dr. Rodriguez is the founder and former president and CEO of AVANCE; she is also the author of “Raising Nuestros Ninos: Bringing up Latino Children in a Bicultural World.” Her talk was based on her successful experience building up AVANCE through outreach to Latino families and community organizing. One of AVANCE’s most effective methods was the door-to-door visits she and others made to the many Latino families—an intimate approach similar to the one we are called to do as missionary disciples. Read more about Dr. Rodriguez’s amazing story here or about AVANCE’s history in order to see how you can apply their prosperous strategies to your own parish or diocesan catechetical ministry.

Juan Carlos Moreno is currently an Associate Director in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He works in the area of sacramental formation and catechesis in primary grades and is also an instructor for biblical and theological formation. Mr. Moreno presented the topic of Sacramental Catechesis and the Hispanic Family. He spoke about using sacramental preparation as a time to help families—particularly parents— encounter Christ so to move away from receiving the sacraments because it is a “costumbre” (custom). He spoke about the opportunities and challenges of Hispanic catechesis, while also uplifting the gifts that the Hispanic family brings to the church. His presentation, and many more of his wonderful resources, can be found on his website: www.jcmoreno.net

Gerardo Salazar is also an Associate Director in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He is responsible for Hispanic catechists and Hispanic catechetical leaders. He is a catechist and musician with a passion for evangelization and formation through media. He presented the topic: Intergenerational Integration of Hispanic Families in the Parish Context and lead us in dynamic prayer and song. Mr. Salazar led a thorough presentation about the importance of recognizing and addressing the generational and cultural differences within Hispanic families so that parishes may provide a more effective catechesis. You can contact Mr. Salazar directly to his Email if you are interested in getting a copy of his presentation: gsalazar@archgh.org

Our three speakers were phenomenal, each brought unique experiences and different approaches to working with Latino families. What they all had in common was their passion to transform the Hispanic family—as a whole—in order to bring Christ into their midst. We thank our three speakers for their significant contribution to the FCH Pre-Conference and we give a special thanks to the following publishers for their continued support: Sadlier, Loyola Press, RCL Benziger, Pflaum, and Our Sunday Visitor.

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About Miriam Hidalgo

Miriam Hidalgo is the Coordinator of Catechesis for Hispanics in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island; her family is from Guatemala. Miriam has a BA in Youth Ministry from Providence College and an MEd in Religious Education from Boston College. She has served at both the parish and diocesan level in religious education and youth ministry/pastoral juvenil.

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