Catholic Schools Week is a great time to bring awareness to our families, especially Hispanic/Latino families about the value of a Catholic education. This year’s theme is “Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.“ Many of our Hispanic/Latino families do not consider Catholic schools as an option for their children and only 3% of Hispanic/Latino families enroll their children in a Catholic school. As the Hispanic Catholic population continues to grow and demographics continue to challenge many communities, this is a prime time for Hispanic/Latino organizations, like the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors, the National Catholic Council of Hispanic Ministry, and La Red, to name a few, to leverage their networks to spread the good news about our Catholic schools to Hispanic/Latino’s who are active in their parish communities.
Amazingly, ninety-eight percent of our Hispanic/Latino Catholic school population graduates from high school and 95% of those go on to a four-year college education. For those families that dream of seeing their child graduate from high school and go on to college, this is good news. Here is the opportunity for our active Hispanic/Latino leaders to make a difference. Hispanic/Latino leaders can organize, educate, and motivate other Hispanic/Latinos to spread this good news and reach families who find themselves at the periphery of our ministries.
In the Archdioceses of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the University of Notre Dame-Catholic School Advantage field consultants have been successful in doing this by way of the Madrinas program. The Madrinas program is a grassroots outreach that engages, informs, and accompanies prospective Hispanic/Latino families to “come and see” our Catholic schools. Hispanic Ministry for many years, in all its forms, has made and continues to make a difference in the lives of many U.S. Hispanics/Latinos by engaging, inviting, forming, and accompanying them in their faith journey. These ministries organize, gather, celebrate being with one another, share information, and pool their resources to help those in need.
Catholic Schools Week offers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of families who dream of one day seeing their child graduate from high school and college. One of the best ways that Hispanic Ministry can minister to Hispanic families and to the next generation is by sharing the good news of a Catholic education. Talking about the value of a Catholic education is not sufficient for our communities, we have to bring them in direct contact with Catholic schools so they can see, feel, and touch what a school community of faith, knowledge, and service can offer their children.
2014 © Rudy Vargas IV, D.Min (Candidate). All Rights Reserved.
Featured image and photo of girls by Angelica Hueso- Garcia. Photo of young boy by Teresita Morales.