April 1, 2024 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Dcn. Chris Gutiérrez prays with Bishop William F. Medley during the March 2, 2024 Hispanic/Latino ministers retreat, which was held at St. Joseph Monastery in Whitesville, Ky. COURTESY OF DCN. CHRIS GUTIÉRREZ

Returning to our own Galilees

Hispanic/Latino ministers gather for 24 hours to pray, reflect and rest


Every year, Hispanic/Latino ministry staff from around the Diocese of Owensboro gather for a quick 24-hours’ time of prayer, reflection, and rest. This includes some of our priests, sisters, deacons, and professional lay ministers. Hispanic ministers normally hold pastoral planning and business meetings once every three months, but this is meant to be a little different. It is a time to reconnect and support one another in this often-challenging ministry. This year’s theme was “Regresando a nuestras propias Galileas,” (Spanish for “Returning to our own Galilees”). Meaning, we wanted to take a good look back at our own personal callings to ministry and beginnings when we heard that voice of Jesus calling us to ministry in the Church. Oscar Castellanos, a professor at Marian University in Indianapolis, helped lead us in the reflection during these hours. And just as we hear how Jesus calmed the storms in the Gospel of Matthew 8:23, we were also reminded that it is the Lord who oversees our lives and ministry, and we must simply do our best and trust in Him. This year we were also blessed with Bishop Medley coming to be with us for a couple hours to share at table and reflect on some of the latest consultations on the Synod on Synodality.

I feel blessed to work and share in ministry with this most wonderful team of Hispanic/Latino ministers, including missionaries who have left their places of origin to come and do ministry in this awesome mission Diocese of Owensboro. And as we continue to work towards the implementation of the new national plan for Hispanic/Latino ministry in our country and diocese, I also pray for continuous growth and blessings upon all our shared parishes in the diocese – particularly the 14 with Hispanic/Latino ministry.

The participants of the March 2, 2024 Hispanic/Latino ministers retreat smile for a photo with Bishop William F. Medley. The retreat was held at St. Joseph Monastery in Whitesville, Ky. COURTESY OF DCN. CHRIS GUTIÉRREZ

Dcn. Chris Gutiérrez is the director of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Ministry in the Diocese of Owensboro.

Originally printed in the April 2024 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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