US Latino Catholic Leaders Convene a National Encounter in San Juan

The National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM) is celebrating their 2023 Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from November 30 until December 3, 2023, with around 100 Hispanic/Latino Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio for the United States, priests, religious, deacons, and lay leaders. These Catholic leaders represent nearly 60 organizations and institutions from throughout the U.S., including religious communities, universities, pastoral institutes of formation, dioceses, and national organizations that serve Latino ministries, as well as several representatives from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Director of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and representatives from Latin America.

The Archbishop of San Juan, Monseñor Roberto Gonzalez Nieves and the Bishop of Ponce, Ruben Gonzalez Medina will participate in the Opening Mass on Thursday evening.  NCCHM will honor Cardinal Pierre, the representative of Pope Francis in the United States, on Friday evening with a special recognition for the accompaniment and support he provides Hispanic ministry leaders in the U.S.

NCCHM is a 32-year-old national organization of Catholic organizations that promotes Hispanic Ministry through advocacy, education, networking, and leadership development. This encounter of pastoral leaders is the follow-up to 6th National Catholic Leadership Congress called Raices y Alas that NCCHM held last year in Washington, DC, where we worked on the pastoral priorities of Hispanic ministry: Family, Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, Social Justice with a focus on immigration, and Pastoral Formation.

NCCHM provides a forum for dialogue and reflection on the status of Hispanics/Latinos in the US Catholic Church and society at the local, regional and national levels. It provides a network of mutual support and collaboration among religious, professional, and civic organizations serving Hispanics, to promote the full participation of Hispanics in the church and in society.  NCCHM also advocates for Hispanics/Latinos in the area of human rights and collaborates with organizations with the same mission and objectives. In April 2022, NCCHM took more than 400 leaders to Washington for a Day of Advocacy, visiting 38 US Senate offices on Capitol Hill to advocate for immigration reform, followed by a historic press conference with 400 Latino Catholic leaders, including 14 bishops and two Vatican secretaries.

“NCCHM is an important bridge for Latino Catholics between grassroots and professional, civic, and ecclesial organizations. We promote the formulation of social and pastoral questions and others of special interest for Hispanic Catholics through forums, workshops, research, publications, seminars, annual leadership meetings, and national congresses on Hispanic Ministry,” said Elisabeth Roman, president of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry.