The V Encuentro (fifth encounter) is a national four—year process initiated by the Bishops of the United States, which calls all Catholic leaders to listen with profound attention to the needs, challenges, and aspirations that the growing Hispanic/Latino population faces in daily life. During 2017, each diocese in the United States will celebrate a Diocesan Encuentro, which will bring together local ministers (e.g. priests, laity) from all Catholic Organizations (e.g. churches, hospitals, colleges) to discuss and identify the best ministerial practices that help strengthen the New Evangelization. This engaging process aims to help dioceses recognize their needs while naming actions to help raise up and train leaders.In the Diocese of St. Cloud, the V Encuentro is a time for all parish leaders to gather and name our needs and brainstorm ways we might grow in the New Evangelization while strengthening our witness of the gospel as Missionary Disciples. It is a time to celebrate our rich diversity and explore ministry in our region as we look to the future.
The overall theme for the Diocesan Encuentro is “Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love,” which invites us to delve deeply into our baptismal call to “Go . . . and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).
The Objectives of the Encuentro Process
- Call all Catholics in the United States to become authentic and joyful missionary disciples that give witness to God’s Love with a prophetic voice in a culturally diverse Church
- Provide a renewed ecclesial vision that develops effective pathways to invite, engage, and form Hispanic Catholic youth, young adults, and families to live out their baptismal vocation
- Invite all Catholic leaders to engage and accompany Hispanic Catholics who find themselves in the peripheries of the Church and society, particularly those who live in at—risk situations and are not actively involved in their faith community
- Identify and promote opportunities for Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders to serve at all ministerial levels of the Church and the larger society, and increase the number of protagonists in the New Evangelization
- Stimulate a new wave of faith formation and leadership development initiatives that prepare Hispanic Catholics to share and celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ and to become leaven for the Reign of God in society
Themes of the Consultation Process
- Called to a loving encounter with Jesus
- With words and actions: Do it!
- Walking together with Jesus
- Bearing fruits of new life
- Celebrating the joy of being missionary disciples (Joy of the Gospel, n. 24)