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The History of the National Encuentros
Hispanic Americans in the One Catholic Church

Fifty years after the closing of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church began its implementation with the creation of consultative bodies at all levels of the church. This book examines the response of Hispanic American Catholics to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.

In the early 70's the Catholic bishops of the United States saw the need to address the growing Hispanic presence in the church. The concern of the bishops was to look for ways on how to integrate Hispanic Americans into the life of the church so that they could offer a process of integration, communion, and participation in the one Catholic Church of the United States.

American priests working in the inner city throughout the country and Hispanic American leaders began to articulate a process to reflect on the presence of Hispanic Americans in the church by using the methodology of "see, judge, and act." This process became an instrument of consultation and involvement of the people in the pews throughout the Catholic Church in the country. Participation in the process included people from the parish, diocese, region, and national levels. This approach confirmed the vision of the bishops in inviting the communities to participate and identify themselves with the Catholic Church in the United States.

This initiative became a model for consultation and integration and became known as National Encuentros. Each encuentro provided a set of recommendations to the bishops and to the diocesan church. Ultimately as a result, the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry was developed and approved by the USCCB.

This book is published to mark the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council as an instrument of consultation and a memory of the historical process developed by Hispanic Americans.

The fifth encuentro is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2016.

ISBN: 978-08091-4905-6

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