McCOOL JUNCTION (SNR) – The second annual “Diocesan Hispanic Ministry Conference” was held Oct. 17-18 at Camp Kateri Tekakwitha in McCool Junction.
This is the second year the Office of Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Lincoln has hosted this event.
The conference was an all-day event Saturday, Oct. 17. All 11 of the parishes in the diocese that have a Hispanic Ministry outreach were invited to send their leaders to this conference. Twenty-eight participants came from as far west as Imperial and as far east as Nebraska City.
The participants celebrated their Catholic faith and cultures together through prayer, singing, and sharing.
Father Ramon Decaen, director of Hispanic Ministry for the diocese, said the goal was to revise the first draft of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry. The process to write the Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry has taken almost two years and has involved input from thousands of laity, religious, and priests of the Diocese of Lincoln.
“Very fruitful discussions took place,” he said.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry in 1987 and in the 1990s, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz began meeting regularly with the priests of the diocese of Lincoln who work in the Hispanic Ministry apostolate. This has continued under Bishop Conley.
“Four times a year,” Father Decaen said, “the Bishop’s Committee for Hispanic Ministry meets to share, consult, discuss, and address the needs, joys, and concerns of the Hispanic people of the diocese.”
Father Decaen said the participants who reviewed the first draft of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan were “very excited to see their thoughts and reflections in the Plan.”
The proposed five points of the Pastoral Plan are:
- The creation of a School of Formation and Catholic Leadership
- The creation of retreats for couples, singles, and young people.
- An annual Catholic Hispanic conference.
- Greater communication through the creation of a Diocesan web site and other means for the Spanish-speaking.
- Fostering creater formation of youth through catechesis and evangelization.