Hispanic ministries expanding
More parishes around the diocese are offering Masses in Spanish
By Joanne Flemming
Appeal tops $3.4 million
Bishop's Appeal 2004 had received gifts of $3,456,229 as of March 30, reports Josh Diedrich, assistant director of Development and director of the Bishop's Appeal.
The diocese's annual fund-raiser has received gifts from 31,356 people. The average gift is $110.22.
The target is $4.8 million.
The Appeal supports numerous diocesan programs and services offered to parishes and individuals.
St. Mary Parish, Chilton, is the latest parish to join the Green Bay Diocese's growing Hispanic ministry.
Fr. Al Geiser, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Askeaton, began celebrating Mass in Spanish every fourth Sunday of the month in January, said Rudy Pineda, diocesan consultant for Hispanic pastoral ministry. Pineda's work in helping parishes develop Hispanic ministry is funded, in part, through the Bishop's Appeal.
St. Joseph in Sturgeon Bay also has added a Hispanic ministry in the last year or so, he said.
Pineda said the Sturgeon Bay ministry began at Holy Trinity Parish in Casco, then moved to the Door County city. Fr. John Doerfler celebrates a Spanish Mass on the first Sunday of each
month. Recently retired Bp. Robert Banks concelebrated the Mass with him.
About 2½-3 years after it started, the Hispanic ministry at Most Precious Blood Parish in New London is "growing stronger and bigger," Pineda said.
Fr. Paul Radetski, pastor of St. John the Baptist and St. Mary parishes in Menasha, also has a Spanish Mass on the third Sunday of each month.
Pineda said Hispanic ministries usually begin in parishes with Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations. There have also been isolated Spanish celebrations in Waupaca and Weyauwega.
Hispanic ministry in the diocese has grown in other ways:
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Northeim has gone from one Spanish Mass a month to Spanish Masses every Sunday;
Hispanic members of St. Willebrord Parish in Green Bay now regard it as "our parish." The development of the parish community center brought the Hispanic community together with other parishioners. "The Hispanic community is now totally and fully immersed and accepted," said Pineda.
Hispanic charismatic renewal groups have begun at St. Willebrord and St. Therese Parish in Appleton;
A Hispanic leadership day is scheduled April 24 at St. Willebrord. It will focus on
liturgy and will feature workshops for lectors and for Eucharistic, music and hospitality ministers.
Other parishes in the diocese with Hispanic ministries include St. Philip the Apostle in Green Bay, St. Joseph in Wautoma, St. Mary in Omro and St. Mary in Oshkosh.