In the coming months, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs and the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church will conduct a nationwide assessment of the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics. Findings from this project will be used to formulate a broader National Pastoral Plan.
“Building upon the USCCB’s mission of evangelization, and desiring to minister in the best possible way to all Catholics, the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church has determined the need for a National Pastoral Plan for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics,” said Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno, Nevada, chairman of the Subcommittee for Asian and Pacific Islands Affairs. “This plan aims to identify current conditions and needs, revealing how faith is lived and expressed in culturally-specific contexts.”
The assessment will be conducted by a team of social scientists, led by Tricia Bruce, Ph.D. of Maryville College in Tennessee and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), and will include the participation of pastoral leaders such as bishops and diocesan directors, pastors and pastoral teams,volunteers and parishioners.
The survey will include questions related to liturgy, formation, leadership, identity, integration, as well as family and community among Asian and Pacific Island Catholics.
The study will also convene focus groups at large gatherings, such as the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and the Mid-Atlantic Congress in Baltimore, and will conduct extensive interviews with influential leaders who minister to these communities.
Participation in these efforts is essential to help the Catholic Church develop a better understanding of the contributions and needs of such a diverse community, Bishop Calvo said.
“Today, the Church continues to be enriched by the presence and growth of people of Asian and Pacific Island descent who now constitute six percent of the overall United States population. They represent a wide diversity of groups and cultures,” Bishop Calvo said. “Some are new immigrants, others are well-established, and an increasing number are U.S. born. Some come from distant lands and others, such as Hawaiians or Guamanians, are native to the U.S.”
The project’s findings will be summarized in a report and will inform the development of a National Pastoral Plan for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics.
More information on the USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs can be found online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/asian-pacific-islander/index.cfm