Photo by Salvatore Vuono

For those who read my previous article, you know that the issue of language is central to the upcoming Hispanic Ministry Convocation for the Diocese of Fresno. Knowing the growing diversity of language among Hispanics/Latin@s in the U.S., we set out to create a bilingual gathering for our Diocese. But what does that really mean and look like?

We quickly rejected the idea of having a Spanish track and an English track because we simply did not want to be separated. We know many parishes and organizations in our Diocese, and nationally, struggle with the issue of separation over language barriers. With that in mind, we have challenged ourselves to carry our commitment to, first, celebrate the diversity of language and, second, keep us in the same room. Regardless of language, we want to see faces, shake hands, smile at one another, hug, hear passion and laughter, and just be together.

Conversely, as committed as we are to making our event bilingual, we also want to ensure that each person is able to boldly give voice to his or her experiences. We want to hear everyone’s voice and we wanted to hear it in the language each person uses to proclaim who they are.

For these reasons we invited everyone! And they are coming! We also trained small group facilitators from both languages (trained them together), hired professional translators, rented translation head sets, produced all documents in both languages, trained bilingual master facilitators, established settings where we can all be together and share our challenges and hopes, and created moments of prayer to God who hears us in the languages we speak and pray.

With the Convocation two days away, we eagerly await the moments of interaction. More to follow…….