PHOENIX (AP) — Maria Chavira, a senior administrator in the Diocese of Phoenix, claims Spanish-speaking Catholic parishes in her own area are “bursting in the seams” and celebrates the emergence of Hispanics while the biggest ethnic part of the church nationwide.
Through the Southwest, in which the rise happens to be dramatic, Roman Catholic leaders are excited by the opportunities -- and well alert to daunting challenges.
Hispanics now take into account 40% of all of the U.S. Catholics, and a great greater part of school-age Catholics. Yet americans that are hispanic strikingly underrepresented in Catholic schools as well as in the priesthood — accounting for significantly less than 19% of Catholic school enrollment and just about 3% of U.S. -based priests.
When you look at the Phoenix diocese, you can find than 700,000 Hispanics away from an overall total of 1.2 million Catholics. Yet away from significantly more than 200 priests, Catholic scientists counted just seven American-born Hispanics.
Substantial efforts are under method to slim the demographic gaps. They are highlighted in a almost finished study that is four-year U.S. Catholic bishops trying to bolster the church’s engagement with Hispanics.
”We have actually plenty of opportunities, ” stated Chavira, whom oversees the Mission that is hispanic Office other divisions within the Phoenix diocese.