The Faces of Encuentro

North Texas Catholic
(Oct 17, 2018) Feature

Encuentro delegates from the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Encuentro delegates from the Diocese of Fort Worth. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

GRAPEVINE — The National V Encuentro saw the attendance almost 50 delegates from the Diocese of Fort Worth. These Catholics come from all walks of life — different countries of origin, different parishes, and different generations — from as young as 19, and from the U.S. and Mexico to the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Puerto Rico.

These are the faces of Encuentro and the ones who represented our diocese’s Latino community during the Encuentro process.

But there’s one major common denominator connecting them: a deep love of God, and a desire to share that love in action with their communities, Hispanic and non-Hispanic alike. They also shared with us hope for a future where the Church continues growing in unity and welcome, and is not afraid to evangelize and reach those on the peripheries.

As delegate Maria Olvera of St. Mary Parish in Graham, put it: “I believe that out of this V Encuentro there will come a lot of benefits for the entire community, Hispanics as well as non-Hispanics, alike. I hope there will be a lot of spiritual fruits in our parishes, our communities, and our nation.”

Here are some of their thoughts about the V Encuentro and its promising impact on the community at large.

Maricela Olvera

Maricela Olvera
St. Mary Parish, Graham

“For me [Encuentro] has been an affirmation of what I can give. Of my need for more formation so I can more readily give back to the Church and my community... I think the V Encuentro is a call that puts attention on our needs, on what type of help we need, but also how I can help.”

Francisco and Miriam Figueroa (Picture Left) Daniel Mancilla (Picture Right).

Francisco and Miriam Figueroa (Picture Left)
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Pilot Point

“I love Jesus and want to share Him with everybody!” – Miriam

Daniel Mancilla (Picture Right)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Decatur

“The Encuentro process has made me develop a little bit more understanding, not just of my faith, but of the overall place of us laypeople. There is so much that can happen if we just do it. Clearly we need permission from our superiors, the priests and the bishops, but if we put our mind to it we can do it.”

Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez
Seminarian, Diocese of Fort Worth

“We were able to express the needs of the Hispanic church in the U.S. And also to be a witness for the Hispanic community to step up and be leaders in the Church, the young Hispanic church.”

Luis and Martha Rivera

Luis and Martha Rivera
Holy Angels Parish, Clifton

“One of the fruits I would like to see come from this is greater youth participation, I would like to see them continue to develop [spiritually] because they are our future, they're the ones who will take over in our place.” – Luis

Jose Mateo

Jose Mateo
St. Michael Parish, Bedford

“I know I am part of the Church, an important part. I am a missionary of Christ!”

Perla Cabrera

Perla Cabrera
All Saints Parish, Fort Worth

“It was an honor representing my community because I am able to give it a voice through this Encuentro which has allowed us to express our necessities, obstacles, dreams, and hopes to be true missionary disciples of Christ's love.”

Joel Vega

Joel Vega
St. Matthew Parish, Arlington

“I am pleased to be able to represent my Hispanic/Latino community in the Church, affirming that we are present and willing to walk together... and make a change for the good of everyone and be one Catholic Church.”

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