“In the Latino community, family is a very strong value that we bring from our countries and when we find ourselves in this new country with a new language and all these new things to learn, the parish really is our home and it’s our extended family. When we celebrate Latino Family Day, it is something that attracts all the families because it’s like having Christmas—everybody comes and it’s like a big party for the extended family.
We have over 350 volunteers that help us that day. Each parish takes one team and one of the commissions and they own it, they develop it and they are part of it. Because of this, everybody comes feeling part of this bigger family. This is extremely important—it is one day where everyone can come, recognize faces, and play together. It’s like a holiday for the Latino community!
In Latin America, we are a very community oriented people—we need the community. Mostly the impact that we [Latino Ministry] create for these families is the feeling that they are not alone.
The Latino Ministry needs to continue because the Catholic church has grown this year. The Latino population is now 64% of the Catholic church so it needs to continue and we need to support the new generation, the millennials. We are seeing that they are the ones that are [drifting] away from the church and we are losing them in great amounts. We need to keep up [Latino Ministry] because if we support the family from the beginning, then that family is much more stable and can pass on the faith.”