Cardinal DiNardo meets with Pope Francis

October 8, 2019

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, center, meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 20. (CNS photo)

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo led a delegation that met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 20. The group included U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vice-president Archbishop José H. Gomez, of Los Angeles; Bishop Nelson J. Pérez, of Cleveland, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church; and Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit, chairman of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

The delegation visited the Vatican Sept. 13 to 18 to present to Pope Francis the Proceedings and Conclusions of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry.

Delegates accompanying the Bishops include USCCB staff, members of the National V Encuentro Team and a cross-section of V Encuentro delegates representing a diversity of ages, geographical areas, ministries and states in life. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the leadership and staff of various Vatican offices, including the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The visit concluded with an audience and encounter with the pope.

Cardinal DiNardo served as the opening speaker for the September 2018, held in Grapevine, Texas, near Dallas.

"The Encuentro has been a provocation for us to go face to face with people and bring alive the truth, the beauty, and the radiance of the Gospel," Cardinal DiNardo said in his opening remarks. "Over the last year and a half, most of you have engaged in missionary and community building activities in your parishes, ecclesial movements, and other Catholic organizations and institutions. The process of the V Encuentro has truly been an experience of the joy of the Gospel, and a source of deep and fruitful conversations in our dioceses."

"the Encuentro is a light that shines and illuminates the way forward," he said. "The enthusiasm, the passion, the love, and the joy of the Encuentro process is a means of grace, a gift to us as we rebuild the Church. I am proud of, and extremely thankful for all those who have dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to bring about this remarkable gathering of missionary disciples."

The USCCB’s Administrative Committee authorized the publication of the Proceedings and Conclusions of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic Latino Ministry during its September meeting. The resource will be available for sale at the USCCB store in October; other related tools and resources will be posted soon thereafter on the V Encuentro website.

The document is expected to facilitate collaboration and coordination on Hispanic Ministry initiatives between the Bishops’ Conference and dioceses across the country. Numerous initiatives are emerging at the local, regional, and national level as a direct result of the V Encuentro.

For the last two and a half years, the Catholic Church in the United States has taken Pope Francis’ call to embrace an experience what it means to evangelize, reaching out in a special way to those in the peripheries (Evangelii Gaudium, 20-24), specifically through the V National Encuentro. The Proceeding and Conclusions, meant to be a practical resource for utilization by dioceses, captures the five steps of the V Encuentro process.

The Proceedings and Conclusions provide a summary of challenges and opportunities, hopes and dreams, gifts and talents, insights, recommendations, strategies, and successful practices for the pastoral care and accompaniment of the Hispanic/Latinos in the United States. Dioceses around the country have already begun a process of incorporating V Encuentro findings to their existing pastoral plans or are in the process of developing new ones.

For more information about the V Encuentro, visit vencuentro.org.