Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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20180130T1304 14184 CNS ENCUENTRO LOS ANGELES 800 An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is seen Jan. 27 during a gathering of more than 1,000 Catholic lay leaders, clergy and religious from 52 parishes in all regions of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. They came together for the archdiocesan encuentro at the Pasadena Convention Center. (CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Angelus News) LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez urged the crowd at the archdiocesan V Encuentro Jan. 27 to bring "the people of our times to a new encounter with Jesus Christ and the mercy and love of God."

He addressed more than 1,000 Catholic lay leaders, clergy and religious from 52 parishes in all regions of the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles gathered at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Diocesan-level encuentros and regional encuentros are taking place around the country as part of a process of reflection and action leading up to the U.S. Catholic Church's Fifth National Encuentro, or "V Encuentro," to be held Sept. 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas.
"Let us walk behind Jesus and take up our cross -- following him and to bringing the people of our times to a new encounter with Jesus Christ and the mercy and love of God," Archbishop Gomez told the crowd at the convention center.

"Let us reach out especially to those who are on the "peripheries" -- the homeless and the immigrant, the sick and the suffering, the child waiting to be born, the prisoner hoping for a second chance," he continued. "Let us walk together with Jesus and bring our nation and our world -- to the new encounter with Jesus Christ."

In his remarks, Archbishop Gomez also emphasized "this encuentro is not just about Latinos."

"It is about the whole church coming together -- men and women, black and white, Latinos, Africans, Asians, Europeans, the peoples of Oceania, all the beautiful diversity that makes up the family of God here in Los Angeles and throughout the United States," he said. "We are all called to live as children of God and to proclaim Christ as missionary disciples."

He added, "The disciples at Emmaus set out at once to tell everyone of their encounter with Jesus Christ. This is our task now. This is the call of this Fifth (National) Encuentro."

Angelus News, the archdiocesan news outlet, reported that throughout 2017, the archdiocesan chapter of "V Encuentro" sponsored consultation and evangelization workshops with parish leaders throughout the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Attendees at these sessions reflected on the encuentro process and discerned ways of becoming missionary disciples to strengthen the entire Catholic Church by serving all its members, especially the underserved.

The Jan. 27 gathering offered an opportunity for archdiocesan delegates to reconvene and continue the consultation process until the April regional gathering in Visalia, California, and the "V Encuentro" in Grapevine.

"The vision of 'V Encuentro' is to become more aware of God's love in our lives and to share it with others, especially those most in need," Ernesto Vega, coordinator of the archdiocesan encuentro, told Angelus News.

During the day, participants shared testimonials of healing and conversion based on opportunities they have had during encuentro trainings to serve people in need.

"The 'V Encuentro' is a wake-up call for all Catholics, but especially our Hispanic/Latino communities to become agents of renewal for church and society," said Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, a theologian from Loyola Marymount University, who facilitated the reflection session titled "Take the Initiative."

"For 50 years, the encuentro processes have contributed a strong pastoral and social justice agenda to the church in the United States, one that resonates perfectly with Pope Francis' call for pastoral conversion and missionary discipleship," he said.
To date, more than 3,000 participants have finished the "V Encuentro" process at 65 parishes and ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The training workshops have included themes such as family ministry in modern times, lifelong faith formation, accompanying the immigrant, current and emerging lay leadership formation, community outreach to the peripheries, access to education, priestly and religious vocations and young adult discernment, and models and methods of evangelization.

"In its spirituality, theological vision and commitment to engagement with others, especially those on the margins, the 'V Encuentro' calls the entire church to proclaim the Gospel with creativity and energy suitable for meeting the immense challenges of today's world," said Father Figueroa Deck.

Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, a Loyola Marymount University theology professor, led a reflection session on the importance of "accompaniment" in being a missionary disciple. The session was based on a skit that she prepared and that was performed by children from St. Odilia Parish to show how people can overcome their fear of sharing God's love with others.

On Jan. 29, the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington announced that delegate registration for the Fifth National Encuentro opens Feb. 20. In attendance will be 3,000 Hispanic/Latino ministry leaders/delegates from dioceses, ecclesial movements, schools, universities and Catholic organizations from across the country.

The delegates will represent more than165 dioceses; they are being selected from among the nearly 250,000 people participating in the local process over the past year. Over 100 bishops are expected to lead diocesan delegations.

The national encuentro "is the summit experience" that comes at the midpoint of a four-year process, said Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, the USCCB's national coordinator for the "V Encuentro."

"One of the most important outcomes of the (national) 'V Encuentro' is the discernment of priorities and recommendations that will guide Hispanic ministry in the United States for the next 10 to 15 years," he said in a statement.

Editor's Note: More details regarding the Fifth National Encuentro are available at This is an invitation-only event for diocesan delegates and other participants 18 years and older. Individuals will not be able to register separately. Information on obtaining media credentials to cover this event will be available at a future date.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.