Here is a translation of the video-message that the Holy Father Francis sent — on the occasion of the opening of the works –, to the participants in the 5th National Meeting of the Hispano-Latin Pastoral, being held in Grapevine, Texas from September 20-23.
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The Holy Father’s Video-Message
Dear Brother Bishops and Delegates to the Fifth National Meeting of the Hispano-Latin Pastoral:
I’m happy to have the opportunity to speak to you on this occasion. It’s an historic event for the Church in the United States.
Through this 5th Meeting, you seek to create a culture of encounter that will awaken hope: to have different cultures, different ways of living, of thinking, of feeling meet and walk in hope. You have proposed to achieve a different way of being and of relating to one another, which will encourage each person and each group to share the richness of his/its traditions, the richness of his/its experiences, to pull down walls and build bridges.
I see that the 5th Meeting is a concrete way of the Church in the United States to respond to the challenge of “going out” of any sort of comfort, installation and to become leaven of communion with all those that seek a future of hope, especially with young people and with families that live on the peripheries of society.
I’m also pleased to see that the 5th Meeting, in continuity with the previous Meetings, recognizes and values the specific gifts that Hispanic Catholics offer today, and will continue to offer in the future, to the Church in your country. And this experience of Encounter goes even further. It’s part of a much larger process of renewal, of missionary impetus, to which all the local Churches and the particular Churches are called, with their rich human and cultural diversity. And this was always the experience in various dioceses of your country, where the process of Encounter has included all the faithful.
I know that the process of this 5th Meeting comforted many immigrants that live in situations of fear and uncertainty. The 5th Meeting has given them a greater sense of community, friendship <and> support. It has also been an instrument of grace that led to the conversion of heart of many people and, especially, to the pastoral conversion of situations and the pastoral conversion of particular Churches, of parishes, of schools, of all sorts of ecclesial meetings, a pastoral conversion through encounter, of course, in adoration of Jesus Christ.
I hope that this 5th Meeting will continue giving fruits. And that the Church will continue to accompany this process in all her realms, with her reflection, with her pastoral discernment after the National Meeting is held. That is, that the particular Churches continue to accompany all this process. In a particular way, I ask you to consider in what way your particular Churches can respond better to the growing presence, to the gifts and the potential of youth and of Hispanic families and those of other cultures.
I am conscious of the contribution that the Hispanic community offers to the life of the nation, and I pray that the 5th Meeting will continue contributing to the renewal of the society and to the apostolate of the Church in the United States of America.
With much gratitude to all those that took part in the preparation of the 5th Meeting, and to those that will take part in the further process, I assure you of my personal closeness <and> my prayers for this important initiative of the Episcopal Conference. I commend you to Our Mother of Guadalupe; I ask her to look at you <and> let yourselves be looked at by Her! And I pray to the Lord to bless each and every one of you. And I ask you all not to forget to pray for me. Forward![Original text: Spanish] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]