Friday, January 24, 2003

Hispanics not entering ministry in proportion to their numbers

But while Hispanics make up about one-third of the nation's 65 million Roman Catholics, they are just 3.6 percent of U.S. Catholic clergy....

Father Solorzano, spokesman for the National Association of Hispanic Priests, said the goal is to recruit American-born Hispanics as clergy."Immigrants from Mexico are not thinking of entering seminary," he said. "They are thinking of the American dream, like work, make some money, help their relatives."But the tide is turning, given the large number of Bible institutes that are cropping up, new Catholic movements seeking priests and lay leaders, and chances for higher education for Hispanics. "While it looks like a bleak picture, there are some bright spots," Mr. Hernandez said. "Some institutions are aggressively recruiting Latinos."Of the 9,400 lay Catholics in the United States now studying for certificates in theology and church work to help at parishes, about 60 percent are Hispanic, according to recent surveys.



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