|Bishop Soto, Chairman, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church|
Dear Friends in Christ,
For the Church unity in diversity is a requirement of catholicity, one of the marks of the Church. This is of special importance today because of globalization, migration, and the interdependence of people in our country and throughout the world.
In addition to advancing greater competence in intercultural relations in ministry, our committee seeks to collaborate with the bishops in carrying out their priorities in the areas of faith formation, social justice, the promotion of marriage, and the fostering of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. In all these areas pastoral adaption to the cultural and language needs of the Catholic community is a strategic necessity.
Immigrant youth and the children of immigrants are the hope of the Church now and for decades to come. Youth ministry, religious education, and Catholic schools must be competent and eager to nurture this young Church so that they can zealously assume the mission of Christ.
The Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church is blessed with a dedicated multicultural staff that seeks to model and promote intercultural awareness and skills among the various departments of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The staff also interfaces with scores of ethnic, cultural, and racial communities throughout the country. These include refugees, migrant farm workers, circus workers, seafarers, and travelers who often do not find the pastoral care they need given their particular ways of life. To them the Church extends a caring hand.
There are many faces in God’s house and all are called to the banquet! May our Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, gather us tenderly under the mantle of her maternal love.
Most Reverend Jaime Soto
Two hundred years later, the Church in America can rightfully praise the accomplishment of past generations in bringing together widely differing immigrant groups within the unity of the Catholic faith and in a common commitment to the spread of the Gospel. At the same time, conscious of its rich diversity, the Catholic community in this country has come to appreciate ever more fully the importance of each individual and group offering its own particular gifts to the whole. The Church in the United States is now called to look to the future, firmly grounded in the faith passed on by previous generations, and ready to meet new challenges— challenges no less demanding than those faced by your forebears—with the hope born of God’s love, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5).