WASHINGTON (February 7, 2000) -- Hispanic, African-American, Vietnamese, Native-American, Jamaican and Latin-American persons are among key speakers at Encuentro 2000, the celebration of the Jubilee Year for the Church in the United States.
The speakers' list was announced February 7 by Bishop Gabino Zavala, chairman of the event which is slated for July 6-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Encuentro 2000 will draw participants from around the nation to look at their experience as Catholics and to seek ways to improve the acceptance of the many cultures which make up the church in the nation right now.
Previous Encuentro meetings have focused on Hispanics in the Church. For the Jubilee year 2000 the Bishops' Committee on Hispanics sought to broaden the event by hosting the event for all groups.
Encuentro 2000 speakers include:
Archbishop Francois X. Nguyen Van Thuan, a Vietnamese bishop and president of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace.
Georgiana Sanchez, lecturer in American Indian Studies at California State University Long Beach. Ms. Sanchez is a member of the Chumash Nation, storyteller and nationally published writer.
Msgr. Raymond East, a nationally known inspirational speaker, revivalist and pastor of Nativity Parish in Washington, D.C. He has been active in encouraging inter-faith efforts in Washington and works with the D.C. Catholic AIDS Network; the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, Food & Friends; and the Church Association for Community Service.
Sister Marie Chin, President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She is a native of Jamaica and an in-demand speaker who has worked in educational and retreat programs throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
Sister Carolee Chanona, a Sister of Mercy, native of Belize and coordinator of small Christian communities in the Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan.
David Beckmann, Ph.D., a Lutheran minister, economist and president of Bread for the World , a nationwide Christian citizens' movement whose members seek justice for hungry people by lobbying the nation's decision makers. He is author of Friday Morning Reflections at the World Bank and co-author of Transforming the Politics of Hunger.
Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Illinois, Vice-President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Gregory holds a doctorate in sacred liturgy and has written extensively on liturgical issues, especially in the African-American community.
Kathy McGinnis, co-founder with her husband of the Institute for Peace and Justice, an inter-faith, non-profit organization based in St. Louis and working to respond to violence rooted in war, racism and global economic injustice. She is also co-founder of the spinoff organization Parenting for Peace and Justice. She will be speaking with her daughter Theresa McGinnis.
Father Mario Vizcaino, executive director of the Southeast Pastoral Institute in Miami, one of the nation's eight regional offices for Hispanic Ministry.
"The many faces in God's house at Encuentro 2000 will show dramatically the picture of the Church in the United States," said Bishop Zavala. "With their history of immigration, the United States and the church therein are microcosms of the world. Our example of many living together as one can become a profound message to go beyond our borders. Peace begins with understanding one another and that develops as we share our concerns and feel in our hearts that what we have in common binds us. The events during the four-day Encuentro will highlight that reality."
In addition to major addresses, Encuentro 2000 activities also will include liturgies, workshops, an international food festival, music and dance by various ethnic groups and other celebrations to highlight the many faces of the Church.
More information on Encuentro 2000 can be found at www.Encuentro2000.org or calling 202-541-3413.