Boston College professor Hosffman Ospino delivered a lecture at Catholic University on the task of ministering to people on the margins in a diverse Church, specifically those in Latin American communities. Ospino, who is associate professor of Hispanic Ministry and Religious Education, has written several books on the topic of Hispanic-American catechesis. His lecture was sponsored by the Graduate Students Association.
Ospino’s lecture offered “key realities” about Catholicism in the United States, including the fact that approximately 43 percent of U.S. Catholics today identify as Hispanic. Two-thirds of that group, he said, are struggling with poverty.
“The Hispanic community has become one of the strongest vehicles in the U.S Church because of immigration, high birth rate, and family reunification,” he said. “If it were not for the Hispanic presence today, the U.S. Catholic population would be half of what it is now.”
Ospino insisted that as the Hispanic population in the Church continues to grow, leaders should be able to respond to their specific needs.
“We must understand the lived realities of Hispanic Catholics. Scholars must insert themselves in the lives of these communities and where they live,” he said. “Hispanic ministry must be a commitment to walk and live where Hispanic Catholics live, to accompany them in their faith here and now. We cannot do this at a distance.”