Living Hope Newsletter – August 2010
Resource Center (HMRC)
From the founding of the order by St. Anthony Claret in Barcelona, Spain in 1849, the Claretians have always honored a special commitment to Hispanics.
Created in 1990, the Hispanic Ministry Resource Center (HMRC) grew out of the Claretians’ desire to provide bilingual resources for pastoral ministers working with Hispanic communities throughout the United States.
“Since first arriving in San Antonio in 1902, the Claretians have been dedicated to ministering to the spiritual needs of Hispanic Catholics in the United States,” says Fr. John Molyneux, C.M.F., Editor of Claretians Publications. “The launch of the Hispanic Ministry Resource Center was a way to combine our expertise in the Hispanic and the publishing ministries.”
Before HMRC there was a scarcity of materials produced in Spanish in the United States, and even fewer considered culturally appropriate for the fast-growing population of Catholic Hispanics. About 8,000 parishes in the country had some form of Hispanic ministry but no resources that responded well to the real needs of the people.
“Many Claretians were involved in Hispanic ministry in their parishes across the country, but didn’t have enough appropriate resources to use in their catechism and particularly their homilies,” explains Carmen Aguinaco, Director of the Hispanic Ministry Resource Center since its inception.
“HMRC has been a pioneer in producing original, culturally appropriate, bilingual publications and products for Hispanics,” says Fr. Molyneux. “Culturally sensitive and appropriate is the key.”
“I am not only the editor of Claretian publications, but also a subscriber and user,” continues Fr. Molyneux. “HMRC publications are a great resource for non-Hispanic pastoral ministers struggling to work effectively in Spanish.”
It has always been the philosophy of HMRC that producing new materials for this ministry requires understanding the needs of the Hispanic population in the United States. It is not effective to merely translate existing English materials. Nor is it effective to import Spanish-language resources from other countries where the language might be the same, but the religious experience differs. “From the very beginning we decided we were not just going to translate,” says Aguinaco. “We wanted to publish in Spanish from the perspective of the Hispanic community in the United States.”
Materials published by HMRC reach 1,300 parishes around the country. Titles include Nuestra Parroquia, Amigos de Jesús, and El Momento Católico. “Most of the parishes we work with are in California and Texas, or regions with large Hispanic populations,” says Aguinaco. “Sometimes we get calls from rural areas where they might have families of migrant workers who are in need of materials.”
To reach out to the expanding young Hispanic Catholic community in the United States, HMRC launched ¡OYE!, a bilingual, annual vocation and volunteer resource guide in 2002. ¡OYE! is distributed free of charge through Hispanic parishes and schools, as well as through campus and youth ministries throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
In August, HMRC will publish its 8th issue of ¡OYE!, accompanied by the launch of a new website at www.oyemagazine.org.
HMRC and Carmen Aguinaco in particular have played an integral role in Hispanic Ministry development at the national level. HMRC is a vital member of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM); Aguinaco serves as the President. NCCHM offers services such as workshops and catechist-training classes in collaboration with national organizations, dioceses and parishes. “By the year 2020, fifty percent of the Catholic population in the U.S. will be Hispanic,” says Aguinaco. “We don’t want to create a parallel church; rather we want to have our voice and our say in the Catholic Church. It’s very important to reach all people so that all cultures can walk together eventually.”
For more information on the Claretians’ Hispanic Ministry Resource Center, please visit: www.claretians.org/hmrc.
in Northeast India
Although the exact origins of Christianity in India remain unclear, it is generally agreed that Christianity in India is almost as old as Christianity itself, taking hold there even before it spread in many predominantly Christian nations of Europe.
“The contribution of Christianity to the development of the people in the region is unparalleled,” says Fr. Jose Anchupankil, C.M.F., Delegate Superior of the Claretians in Northeast India. “Today there are 15 Catholic dioceses with nearly 1.5 million Catholics in Northeast India alone.”
Northeast India is an expansive region, consisting of eight states and covering over 163,000 square miles. With 31.4 million people, it accounts for nearly four percent of India’s population. Known for its beauty, this area also has poor road, transport, communication, education and health care facilities.
The Claretian Missionaries arrived in Northeast India in 1984, but it was not until 1995 that they were established as the Delegation of Northeast India. By 2007 the Claretians in the region were raised to an Independent Delegation in the Congregation, signifying the need for and growth of the Claretians in the region.
Nowhere has that growth been more apparent than in Northeast India, where the Claretians serve in all 15 dioceses. “Today there are 40 Claretian missionary priests working here,” says Fr. Anchupankil. “We have 70 seminarians in formation, with most being from the region itself.” Their main ministries are evangelization, pastoral care, education, health care, and social and rural development.
The Claretians minister among some 43,000 Catholics, who live in 344 rural villages in nine parishes. They view education as one of the most important factors that impact the growth and development of India. “We are educating over 10,000 students by running 56 schools, mainly to impart primary education for the rural children,” says Fr. Anchupankil.
The schools have well equipped labs, and students are given all possibilities to access the lab under the guidance of experienced teachers. The Claretians also run six boarding schools to educate the children of remote villages.
“The students are not only formed intellectually, but also to be responsible citizens of the future,” says Fr. Anchupankil. “The daily school assembly is a time when moral values through anecdotes and thoughts are infused into the students. We have been evolving to adapt our schools to the rapid changes in society.”
The need for health care in the region is high, and the Claretians work tirelessly to help meet that need. They run five clinics that serve over 15,000 people each year.
“After 15 years, the Claretians have emerged as the connecting link for all Christian missionaries working in Northeast India,” says Fr. Anchupankil. “The mission remains grateful to all those who have contributed in one way or another to its development.”