By Dcn. Stephen Escalera
The 2016 Spring Study Days took place May 9 to 11 at St. Pius X parish in Pueblo. This year’s theme was “Ministry in Our Culturally Diverse Parishes.” Doctors Arturo Chavez and Valentin Ekiaka of the Mexican American Catholic College led clergy and lay ministers from across the Diocese as they reflected on how to effectively minister to our diverse parishes.
Dr. Chavez presented first and spoke of the need for church ministers to have “intercultural competence.” He explained how Christ-centered servant leadership requires an awareness of the gifts and differences in the many cultural backgrounds present in our parishes across the diocese. The Church must be ready and willing to serve the needs of the people and not vice versa.
Dr. Ekiaka presented next and pointed out as a Church we are one. Regardless of our diversity, we experience a unity in the Body of Christ. Our mission to spread the Gospel message applies across cultural barriers. While our experience of faith is mediated by our own cultures, we are called by Christ to be one in faith in him.
Both doctors encouraged those present to take this message with them as they went forth. All were invited to allow the message to progress from their heads to their hearts and finally to their feet. Our actions must reflect our commitment to minister to all our brothers and sisters in Christ and indeed, the entire world. But, as our Bishop so insightfully reminded us, we do not go alone.
Check out more photos from Study Days in our new gallery feature: www.dioceseofpueblo.org/gallery