February 19, 2016

‘10 Things’ catechetical resource is updated in Spanish

(En Español)

By Mike Krokos

We are Catholics in southern and central Indiana. We love God and strive to be good neighbors. Here are 10 things we’d like you—our friends, neighbors and relatives—to know about our faith.

So begins the introduction to “10 Things We Want You to Know about the Catholic Faith,” a resource developed by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2013 in response to Pope Benedict’s “Year of Faith.”

According to Ken Ogorek, the catechetical and evangelization tool has been updated in Spanish for the archdiocese’s growing Latino community.

“We hope that members of the Hispanic community will use this resource in a few key ways,” explained Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis. “It reaffirms several core beliefs and teachings; we all benefit from that. It’s a great conversation starter for discussions about our faith, and how our lives are different because of these beautiful truths.

“Also, it highlights what’s unique about Catholic worship and devotion, making clear that while all religious groups generally deserve respect, they’re not all interchangeable.”

In his new position as archdiocesan director of Hispanic Ministry, Oscar Castellanos is learning firsthand about the “diversity of nationalities and cultures within the Hispanic presence in the archdiocese,” including how Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala are among the many countries represented in central and southern Indiana.

Having this resource translated into Spanish, he noted, is an excellent source of evangelization that can be used in parishes and at home.

“I hope they [members of the Hispanic community] use it with their families and children. There needs to be an emphasis that families constitute the primary catechists and responsible channels of forming the minds and hearts of the future generation of Catholics,” Castellanos said. “I hope they also use them in prayer groups and other ministry gatherings. The Hispanic community is well known for having different movements and groups; this could serve as an excellent tool to study their faith.”

Welcoming people is a huge component for building intercultural competence, Castellanos added. “By getting to know them, listening to their stories, learning about their customs and their traditions [feast days] and understanding each other, it can help defuse some of the tensions that we encounter in some of our parishes where the Hispanic community is growing in numbers.”

Deacon Michael Braun, who last fall became archdiocesan director of Pastoral Ministries, has “found the Hispanic community to be a very warm and welcoming people.”

“In December, I witnessed the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Anthony [Church in Indianapolis],” he said. “The celebration was marked with great passion and energy for the faith. The procession through the neighborhood streets was a wonderful testimony to evangelization.”

Ogorek said the “10 Things” resource also can be tied into the Church’s Holy Year of Mercy.

“Several works of mercy—both corporal and spiritual—can be done using this document,” he said. “Welcoming the stranger can mean showing a Catholic that the faith is alive and well in southern and central Indiana. When visiting the imprisoned: what a great message to share! The spiritual work of prayer and especially instruction is well-served by this resource.”

As the Latino population grows in the archdiocese, Deacon Braun said, the Church must continue to find new ways to welcome and invite all Latinos as our brothers and sisters in Christ. “This means building the intercultural competence in our ministries so that we may listen and respond to their needs,” he said. “Only then can we work to serve families and parish communities better.

“In the archdiocesan Secretariat of Pastoral Ministries, we are committed to being more welcoming and engaging by providing resources in Spanish for our ministries in Pro-Life and Family Life, Youth Ministry, and Young Adult [and College Campus] Ministry.”

Mercy often flows from understanding others, Ogorek noted. “Our ‘10 Things’ resource can build bridges of understanding, by God’s grace, among people of good will in southern and central Indiana,” he said. “Enhanced by prayer and the witness of our lives, this resource can be a powerful force of unity and mercy throughout the jubilee year and beyond.” †

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