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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Conference focuses on role of Hispanic Women in the Church and Society

By Liliana P. Montoya, M.DIV.

The National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM) held its annual conference earlier this month in Las Vegas.

The conference's main theme focused on the roles and contributions of Hispanic women in the Church and society and valuing their ministry throughout the world.

This was the first time the group has been able to gather together in person since the pandemic. Along with many of my colleagues in attendance, I was very moved and motivated by the conference speakers and its message.

Speakers at the conference reiterated that a woman's theological and pastoral care contributions to the Catholic Church is essential. They also emphasized that women have been courageous, provided spiritual richness and, indeed, advanced the Church.

A Hispanic woman's creativity opens up many resources that benefit the most vulnerable women in our communities today. Topics included the hiring practices within the Catholic Church and universities as well as equal pay and job promotions for women. There was also an open discussion about racism and how Hispanic women can strive to obtain leadership roles. 

Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Chair of the Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College, spoke to the numbers of Hispanic women in ministry. Ospino indicated there are simply more male theologians than female theologians. He said that many women theologians are leaving jobs in Catholic institutions to attend other universities or to work outside Catholic settings altogether.

This conference touched on topics of interest for Spanish ministry, allowed me to discover new course topics, help the institute attract new partners, new facilitators, new course designers, and, in addition to meeting old partners, it allowed for networking new contacts for our online courses and programs.

The overriding message is that we must continue working diligently so that Hispanic women are provided, and account for, significant roles in the areas of greatest influence.

Liliana Montoya is the coordinator of Hispanic programs and Online Learning for the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation. Click here to see our online Spanish courses and class schedule for 2023. Learn more about our other Spanish programs.

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