American Church and the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics

pacific island catholics

A new document focused on guiding the American Church in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics was approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops during their annual spring assembly.

It is described as a “pastoral response” meant to provide support and to offer ideas for ministry to the nation’s nearly 3 million Asian and Pacific Island Catholics.

The 71-page document offers suggestions for action at the national, diocesan and parish levels.

Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, told the assembly a day before the vote that the document addresses the fastest growing minority community in the US Church.

“Asian and Pacific Islanders are ready for pastoral engagement in the Church’s mission of evangelisation,” he said.

One of every five Asian and Pacific Islanders in the US is Catholic. Filipinos comprise the largest segment of the community followed by Vietnamese, Chinese and Koreans.

The hope is that this document will assist dioceses, pastoral leaders, and other Catholic entities and Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the pastoral care of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics wherever they are, and continue to welcome and integrate them,” Sister Mryna Tordillo, assistant director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church said.

The document explains that harmony is a “very common theme in Asian and Pacific Island cultures, and therefore it makes sense that in the encounter with the Gospel, the Holy Spirit would transform this jewel of Asian and Pacific Island cultures and make it a blessing to the Church.”

Being Catholic is part of being Asian and Pacific Islander and it becomes important when ministering within these communities to “recognize how religion and culture are so intimately intertwined,” the document said.


News category: Asia Pacific.

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