Hispanic Ministry Office gathers pastors, lay leaders to talk

As the national debate on immigration reform flags and fizzles and seems to be going nowhere in particular, the Diocese of Belleville called together leaders of Hispanic ministry across the diocese Oct. 14 to participate in a discussion of the “present reality” in the diocese and suggest ways to move forward in ministry.

Thirty people participated in the meeting representing all areas of the diocese, including representatives from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Members of the Office of Hispanic Ministry said, according to their research, Hispanics number more than 21,000 in the diocese in 2010, up from 13,000 in 2000.

Jesus’ Wise Response

In the Gospel of Matthew the context of this reading is part of the final week of Jesus’ life. He is in Jerusalem. He has been publicly and royally proclaimed. This created a dangerous situation with the possibility of riots and rebellion against Roman occupation of Jerusalem and Judea. The religious authorities, some of whom want peace at any price, repeatedly confront Jesus about his authority to act and to teach as he does, even in the temple of the Lord which they governed.