WASHINGTON (September 24, 1999) -- The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas St. Louis Regional Community, American Church and Oregon Catholic Press have donated more than $300,000 to launch the first national multi-ethnic church meeting, Many Faces in God's House: Encuentro 2000.
The meeting is slated for next July 6-9, and marks the first national gathering to recognize the richness of the Church's diversity in the nation.
The event will gather representatives from all parts of the family of faith -- the African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latin American, Caribbean, Hispanic, Native-American, European, and other communities that form the Catholic Church in the United States.
Amidst prayer, celebration and education for multi-cultural awareness, parish and diocesan leaders at the meeting will identify ways to utilize the Church's diversity to fulfill its mission.
"The event will be vibrant in color and voice and stand as a living portrait of the Catholic Church at the launching of the Third Millennium," said Bishop Gabino Zavala, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' subcommittee for the event.
Bishop Zavala voiced gratitude to the three organizations and highlighted the event's importance.
"As we move into the Third Millennium, we realize that we're a very different church than we were just a century ago," Bishop Zavala said. "Parishes nationwide celebrate Mass in several languages. People of color abound in all our communities. A wonderful recent wave of immigrants has blessed our churches with new customs that enrich our lives. The Many Faces in God's House: Encuentro 2000 will focus on the implications of these changes for the next millennium."
The Sisters of Mercy donated $150,000 for the project, earmarking $25,000 of that money to fund scholarships for people of color so voices of every race and economic range will be heard. They decided to give the money following an international meeting of the order where the Sisters voted to take specific steps, they said, "as we embrace our multi-cultural reality."
American Church gave an in-kind donation valued at $105,000 when it produced and mailed 35,000 copies of a handbook for use with local groups as they study the impact of multi-culturalism in their lives before the Los Angeles meeting. American Church, which is a part of American Paper Group, is the largest printer and supplier of church offering envelopes in the United States. It also publishes materials for Catholic youth.
Oregon Catholic Press, a major liturgical music publisher, agreed to an in-kind donation valued at $75,000 and will print and mail 35,000 copies of the poster to promote Many Faces in God's House: Encuentro 2000 in the fall.
Further information on Many Faces in God's House: Encuentro 2000 can be found on the Web at www.nccbuscc.org.