Hispanic Ministry Needs More Funds, Study Finds

Bishops to Consider Plan to Find Resources

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A study on the Church’s ministry to Hispanics in the United States has found that regional and national organizations are lacking funds and consequently, personnel and planning.

Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, announced Thursday the completion of the study.

Titled «National and Regional Hispanic Catholic Ministry Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment,» the study was based on 20 regional and national Hispanic Catholic ministry organizations and an analysis of their structures, services, activities and challenges.

Since 2008, the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity had been alerted to the underfunding of these organizations and their limitations in terms of planning, personnel and fund development. Other concerns include a high turnover rate in leadership, dependency on volunteers, and limited outreach to youth.

«The NRHM assessment underscores what many Hispanic ministry leaders have been saying: The major challenge in nearly all national and regional Hispanic ministry organizations is the curtailment of their mission due to a severe lack of fiscal and consequently personnel resources,” said Tim Matovina, a member of the advisory group. “Bolstering the structures that sustain Hispanic ministry is one of the most urgent strategic goals for the vitality of Latino Catholic faith.»

Father Deck affirmed that the advisory group will meet again «to consider ways in which these organizations can be strengthened.»

The bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity, and its Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, will review the findings of the report and hear the recommendations of the advisory group in an effort to respond to the challenge of bolstering resources and encouraging best practices.

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