The National Association of Hispanic Priests (ANSH) will hold its annual conference in El Paso from Sept. 19-23. Organizers expect approximately 120 priests from across the country to attend this year’s conference titled, “Priests: Instruments of Mercy and Compassion.”
“The Hispanic priest faces challenges that we often don’t see here in El Paso,” said Fr. Jose Morales, pastor of Holy Spirit parish in Horizon City. “I know of a Hispanic priest who served a large diocese and he was the only Hispanic priest there. When you are serving a large Hispanic community, it can be quite challenging. So having the conference here allows us to
share with our fellow priests various ways of ministering to the people in their vicariates.”
With so many international priests now serving in parishes across the U.S., Fr. Jose said the conference also serves as a way to transition a pastor into the American culture.
“They are ordained for a community in their home country so the reality of being here in the United States is quite different,” he said. “We have, for example, Mexican priests ministering to Puerto Ricans or Columbians and the culture shock can be a challenge. We try to mitigate those circumstances by learning, sharing and being supportive of one another to better serve the community that we are sent to.”
Fr. Jose said while the conference is mostly centered on the priest, the public is invited to participate in Mass. “We would like to extend the invitation to the Dioceses of El Paso, Las Cruces and Cd. Juarez to become part of the welcoming party by expressing a warm welcome to the priests that will be visiting our diocese for the conference,” said the group’s press release.
Liturgical celebrations will be held at:
St. Pius X on Monday on September 19 at 6:00 p.m.
U.S-Mexico Border on Tuesday September 20 at 11:00 a.m.
St. Patrick Cathedral on Wednesday September 21 at 6:00 p.m. St. Luke Parish on Thursday September 22 at 12:30 p.m.
A Good Shepherd banquet to be held on Wednesday Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m where an El Paso priest will receive the Good Shepherd award as a recognition for their support to Hispanic Priest that have served our Diocese. Tickets are necessary for this event only.
For more information or to volunteer to assist in the organization of the conference, please contact Fr. Beto Lopez or Fr. Jose Morales at Ansh2016@hscc4u.org and at the number 915-996-1114.
Author: Elizabeth O’Hara – RGC Editor