Stewardship For The Hispanic Culture
As the number of parishioners with Hispanic background increases, we need to find ways to welcome them into our local parishes and invite them to be good stewards of their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. This section will provide some ideas on how to do that. In Spanish, the word for “Stewardship” does not carry the same connotation as in English. The Spanish word “Corresponsabilidad” (Co-responsibility) has been used in parts of the U.S. where there are larger Hispanic populations.
When communicating the Stewardship message, it is important to
- As it is with any new parishioner, it is critical to have a “Welcoming” parish environment! (atmósfera acogedora)
- Invite new parishioners to attend Mass, participate in parish ministries, and provide their financial support
- Bi-lingual or Spanish-only Masses make people feel welcome. English proficiency is an intellectual matter; worship is not only intellectual but also emotional. Foreign speakers may be able to “function” in an English environment, but will not feel truly welcome until the emotional connection during worship is made. As a result of this connection taking place, Hispanic parishioners will take the step of registering at the parish and taking ownership of assisting financially to support the parish.
- Bi-lingual parish staff and priests; or at the very least, culturally competent staff.
- Bi-lingual parish communications.
- Bi-lingual parish ministries.
- Bi-lingual financial updates.
- Be aware of cultural celebrations:
- Quinceañeras classes
- Virgen de Guadalupe
- Rosary and other devotions (Our Lady of Guadalupe, novenas, etc.)
- Bi-lingual or Spanish-only welcoming events
- Bi-lingual or Spanish-only welcome packets
- Be aware of first generation immigrants; they are likely to speak little to no English.
- Be specific with fund drives – explain exactly what it is you are asking for, what will be achieved with the funds and how much is needed.
- Stories – critical to communicate for comprehension. Use stories to educate.
- Explain how will this affect them and their family?
- Bi-lingual or Spanish materials
- Use local parishioners, other parishes and/or Archdiocesan resources to assist
- Bi-lingual or Spanish-only ministry workshops
- Look at parish Mission Statement
- Look at individual parish ministry mission statements
- Make sure parish procedural information is available in Spanish
- Use Spanish speaking and bi-lingual Lay Witness Speakers
- Ministry fair combined with cultural (social) parish events
- Spanish covenant cards (time, talent, and treasure)
- Communication – it’s obvious you need Spanish-speaking parishioners as witnesses, priests and parish staff, but that is not always available.
- Parish Registration – encourage parish registration, but understand this may be difficult to get. In Latin America there is no such thing as “registering” at your local parish. Immigrants will not take this big step until they have ownership and a sense of belonging in the community.
- Envelope usage – encourage on-going financial support for the parish but this may be difficult. Consider requesting for “specific” needs versus “general” on-going support. Once again, in Latin America there is no such thing as “envelopes” being used for the collection. Immigrants will not take this big step until they have ownership and a sense of belonging in the community.
- Participation – be welcoming and explore Hispanic cultural ministry opportunities and parish events.
- Archdiocese of St. Louis:
- F. Javier Orozco – Executive Director of Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs [email protected] or 314.792.7890