Many Faces in God's House - Encuentro 2000 is a local process leading to a national event. The local process is contained in this guidebook and the original six sessions have been modified for use with young people. The national event will take place on July 6-9, 2000, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Encuentro 2000 provides the Church with an opportunity to proclaim anew that a profound relationship with Jesus Christ is the key, the focal point and the goal of all human history. As young members of the family of God in the United States, we are called to encounter the living Jesus Christ by authentically encountering and welcoming one another as the way to conversion, communion, and solidarity.
The word encounter (encuentro in Spanish) echoes loudly in the recent history of Hispanic Catholics as they strive to feel at home in God's House in the United States. Thirty years ago Hispanic Catholics started a journey of faith and self discovery through local gatherings leading to national events called Encuentro. The First of these Encuentros (1972) was a wake-up call in which Hispanics Catholics realized more fully who they are as members of God's House in the United States. The Second Encuentro (1977) was an opportunity for Hispanic Catholics to identify their needs and aspirations, and to share them with other members of the Household. In the Third Encuentro (1985), Hispanic Catholics provided the Household with a vision, and a commitment to better serve millions of Hispanic Catholics in this land.
Our encounter with Christ always challenges us to look beyond ourselves so we may also encounter one another, and to live more faithfully our call to be one Catholic Family of God. Sensing a movement of the Spirit in the Jubilee Year 2000, and inspired by the Encuentro experience of Hispanic Catholics, the Bishops of the United States invite all members of the Catholic household to a new Encounter. Encuentro 2000 is new because it involves not only Hispanic Catholics, but the Church in all its cultural and ethnic diversity. In a special way Encuentro 2000 invites young people to prepare for the Jubilee Year by coming together to talk about faith and life: to worship together, to learn from each other, to forgive one another and be reconciled, and to discover new ways to be one Body of Christ and yet come from diverse cultures, countries, and races. Only with the active participation of young people, can the theme for Encuentro 2000 Many Faces in God's House: A Catholic Vision for the Third Millennium, become a reality in God's House in the United States.
Some of the Gospel's most powerful images emerge from the encounter between Jesus and ordinary people. The encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well; with the blind man sitting at the entrance of Jerusalem; and with the rich young man who wants to follow Jesus, represent unique opportunities to develop a personal relationship with Christ. When Pope John Paul II chose the theme for the Synod for America, he favored the word Encounter to describe the action by which we find, or deepen our relationship with the living Christ. It is in this encounter, says the Holy Father, that we find the way to Conversion, Communion, and Solidarity.
For more information on how to get involved in Encuentro 2000 call your Arch/diocese or E-mail email@example.com.