Delegates from Diocese of Madison participate in Regional V Encuentro Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Lorianne Aubut, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jun. 28, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
lorianne aubut
Lorianne Aubut, delegate from the Diocese of Madison, reports at one of the plenary sessions at the Region VII V Encuentro held recently at the University of Notre Dame. (Photo provided by Lorianne Aubut)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- On Friday, June 8, 10 Hispanic diocesan delegates from nine different parishes, accompanied by the Vicar General Msgr. Jim Bartylla, the Encuentro diocesan Chairperson Edgar Martínez and his son Juan Pablo Martínez, departed for the University of Notre Dame in Indiana to attend the weekend long Regional V Encuentro.

Region VII consists of the dioceses in the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, with 13 of the 16 dioceses represented at the Encuentro.

Encuentro process

Back in March, the Diocese of Madison held its Diocesan V Encuentro, where close to 100 parish delegates came together to discuss and provide strategies and recommendations to Region VII with the purpose of creating more Hispanic leaders in the Church.

The Region VII V Encuentro is part of the National V Encuentro process, which has as a goal to have a continual pastoral conversation that allows the Church to respond with more fidelity and enthusiasm to the Hispanic/Latino presence in parishes and dioceses, and for the Church to empower the Hispanic/Latino people to live their vocation more fully as joyful missionaries.

This Regional V Encuentro, attended by nearly 200 delegates and guests, began on Friday, June 8, with an opening Spanish liturgy celebrated by Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

His homily focused on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the love we encounter in Jesus’ suffering heart. Bishop Rhoades inspired the Hispanic delegates and guests to go out and love with Jesus’ same sacrificial love.

That night after the celebration of the Mass, the delegates were welcomed at a reception where the encounter and faith sharing among the Hispanic participants started.

The weekend centered in providing opportunities of prayer, small group discussions, group reports, and times for networking.

Engaging in discussions

The biggest goal and challenge of this Regional V Encuentro was to bring together the different Hispanic leaders from Region VII so they could engage in discussions according to a variety of ministerial areas that affect their pastoral work; some of these ministerial areas were vocations, evangelization, liturgy, youth and young adult ministry, and immigration, among others.

Each group met three times throughout the weekend to evaluate, discuss, and choose successful practices, potential strategies, and essential recommendations for the region and the nation.

After each of those small group sessions, a presenter for that group would report their final findings in a large group plenary session. During this plenary report session, any delegate or guest from the other ministerial areas was allowed to ask questions regarding the particular report being given. The plenary sessions provided an opportunity for all participants to listen and engage in deeper conversation.

The weekend ended with a closing Spanish Mass celebrated in the Notre Dame Basilica by Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Rojas of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Rojas also inspired the Hispanic community with a homily on how the different evil influences break our relationship with God and how it is important to reject those evil influences in order to encounter Christ and share Christ with others.

Input into National V Encuentro

This Regional V Encuentro proved to be an inspiring and successful component of the process of the V Encuentro. All strategies and recommendations gathered by the delegates in this event will be part of a National Working Document that will be presented and evaluated at the National V Encuentro in Grapevine, Texas, this September.

Delegates from all over the country, with over 51 bishops and 100 dioceses, will be attending the National V Encuentro. A final document with proposed implementations will be created after the National V Encuentro. This final document is expected to be given to all the regions, dioceses, and parishes in the nation by 2020.

For more information on the V Encuentro, visit

A Spanish version of this article will be published in the July 12 issue of the Catholic Herald.

Lorianne Aubut is a wife and mother of three children with a fourth one arriving this fall. She is also the Hispanic minister and coordinator of elementary religious education at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison.



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