Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I pray that this season will continue to bring many blessings for you, your families, and your ministries!
Perhaps many of you have been feeling overwhelmed by the recent events in our nation. I know I have.
In light of all that is happening, I believe that now more than ever, we must come together as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, and work together to build the Reign of God here on earth. We must be light in this dark world— especially in our homes, our schools, our parishes, and our neighborhoods. No matter what your stance is on politics, we are all sisters and brothers in Christ and we must never forget that.
That being said, it is no coincidence that what FCH has planned for 2017 fits well with how we must respond to these most challenging times.
That is the theme of the 2017 NCCL Conference and the FCH PreConference.
Transformative leadership is the kind of leadership that makes positive and profound changes; it empowers, unites, uplifts, and builds leadership among the people. Those that do catechesis with Hispanics are called to learn how to be and how to form transformative leaders among the Latino/a community of the U.S. Catholic Church. Our Church needs leaders who will lead as Christ led; leaders who will be courageous, like our Blessed Mother Mary, in their mission to evangelize; leaders who are willing to collaborate and organize in order to progress and call others into leadership. That is transformative leadership!
We are excited to announce that our speaker this year is Mario Paredes, a man with many years of experience in Latino/a leadership. This year FCH will be sponsoring all of the NCCL Spanish-language workshops. Each workshop will continue to explore the theme of leadership in different aspects. On Monday, Sr. Teresa Maya will present on the theme of personal transformation and how it relates to the leadership discernment process of Hispanic Catholics. On Tuesday, Mrs. Aida Hidalgo will explore the prophetic communal transformation and what it looks like to build a culture of leadership among Hispanic Catholics. Finally, on Wednesday, Dr. Carmen Cervantes will help us to articulate a catechetical future, particularly in light of forming young disciples into roles of leadership.
FCH will also include a V Encuentro panel presentation and time for an in-depth discussion about the V Encuentro process.
Consider joining us this May in Dallas. We truly hope to see you there.
If I may, I would like to leave you with the lyrics and video link to a beautiful song—as a way to close my initial thoughts. I remember carelessly singing this song as a young child at Sunday mass. When I was about 9 years old, I finally read the lyrics to this song from the hymnal. I realized then that this song was actually really touching and quite powerful. From that moment on, it became one of my favorite “church songs” and somehow I never sang it the same again. I still sing it now with all my heart. I hope that you can, too.
“CRISTO TE NECESITA” (Christ Needs You)
1.Cristo te necesita para amar, para amar. (Christ needs you to love 2x)
Cristo te necesita para amar.
NO TE IMPORTE LA RAZA NI EL COLOR DE LA PIEL. AMA A TODOS COMO HERMANOS Y HAZ EL BIEN.
(Doesn’t matter their race or the color of their skin, love everyone and do good).
2.Al que sufre y al triste, dale amor, dale amor, al humilde y al pobre, dale amor.
(the one that suffers and is sad, give them love. the humble and poor, give them love.
3.Al que vive a tu lado, dale amor, dale amor, al que vive a tu lado, dale amor.
(the one that lives next to you, give them love.)
4.Al que habla otra lengua, dale amor, dale amor, al que piensa distinto, dale amor.
(the one that speaks another language, give them love. the one that thinks differently, give them love.)
5.Al amigo de siempre, dale amor, dale amor, y al que no te saluda, dale amor.
(your best friend, give them love. the one that never greets you, give them love.)
Thank you for all that you do, every day, to build the Kingdom of Heaven.
Peace and blessings.