The greatest homage which all the Churches can give to Christ on the threshold of the third millennium will be to manifest the Redeemer's all-powerful presence through the fruits of faith, hope, and charity present in the men and women of many different tongues and races who have followed Christ. (Tertio Millenio Adveniente, no. 37)Now is the appropriate time for us to proclaim that we are one Church of many faces, which represent the many peoples of God. Encuentro 2000 is an opportunity for the Church in the United States to gather to engage in profound conversation about life and faith: to worship together, to learn from each other, to forgive one another and be reconciled, to acknowledge our unique histories, and to discover ways in which we as Catholic communities can be one Church yet come from diverse cultures and ethnicities. Encuentro 2000 is a process by which we can rediscover and gain greater appreciation of the universality of the Catholic Church and renew our commitment to our common identity and mission. As members of one family of God, we are called to encounter the living Jesus Christ by authentically receiving and reflecting his gracious hospitality in an through one another, as the way to conversion, communion, and solidarity.
An Invitation to Participate in Encuentro 2000
Sensing the movement of the Spirit at the threshold of the year 2000, the bishops of the United States invite the Church, in all its cultural and ethnic diversity, to come together to cherish the histories of all our peoples and discover Christ in each other's stories, so that in solidarity we may cross into the new millennium.
Encuentro 2000 provides the Church with an opportunity to proclaim anew to the world that profound faith in Jesus Christ is the key, the focal point, and the goal of all human history (cf. Gaudium et Spes, no. 10). Following the initiative of the Committee on Hispanic Affairs and treasuring the experience of Hispanic Catholics both in their history and in the prior processes of the Encuentro, the bishops of the United States convoke Encuentro 2000.