The Hispanic Innovators of Faith lecture was covered by the Catholic Standard and picked up by Catholic News Service. See below.

Growth of U.S. Hispanic population a blessing for church, says speaker

From: The Visitor Date: Feb. 3, 2017Author: Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) - Hispanics in the Catholic Church are not a problem to be solved, but a blessing and an opportunity, said Hosffman Ospino in a Jan. 31 talk at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

The growing number of U.S. Hispanic parishioners puts a new face on the church, forces it to renew itself, pushes it to redefine its commitment and presents dioceses with a challenge, he said.

Ospino is a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College and director of graduate programs in Hispanic ministry there. He is well-known as a leading voice in Hispanic ministry and theology.

More than 20 million immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean are transforming the U.S. Catholic experience, according to Ospino. He calls this phenomenon a "tsunami."

Hispanics are the fastest-growing community in the U.S. They make up the largest minority group in the country and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they will surpass the 132 million mark by 2050. By then, Hispanics will represent 30 percent of the nation's total population, according to data from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But the church has not reacted at the same speed to welcome them, according to Ospino. "Dioceses, schools and parishes have been on 'cruise control' for more than 70 years and a renewal, a new dynamic, is needed," he said. "We have to read the signs of the times in light of our faith." ...

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