Webmaster, U.S. Hispanic Ministry
Patricia Jiménez, DMin (Candidate), is completing her Doctorate in Ministry at Barry, specializing in Hispanic and Latino Theology and Ministry. She is the Webmaster for www.ushispanicministry.com and has served for over 20 years in the areas of youth ministry, catechesis, and teaching and administering lay formation programs. Ms. Jiménez has experience in parish and diocesan ministry as well as academia, and has been a speaker at local, regional, and national events. In what follows, she recounts some of her experiences at Barry University and discusses her development of a national website designed to serve Hispanic/Latino Catholics.
"With the increasing number of Hispanic/Latinos engaged in New Media, I found it important to embrace new mediums to reach out to Hispanic/Latino Catholics and those who serve them. We established www.ushispanicministry.com in May of 2011 as part of my doctoral project with the hope of creating a network that served the diverse realities of Hispanic/Latino Catholics in the U.S. While there are various organizations that serve Hispanics, each focuses on a particular area of ministry, such as Hispanic youth ministry, diocesan ministry, Hispanic theology, etc. We wanted to create one centralized place where all of these voices could come together to dialogue and share their gifts and talents through the use of new media. We also wanted a place that supplied access to a variety of resources for the benefit of all those serving in Hispanic Ministry in the U.S.
As I worked on this project, I found my formation at Barry University has been an incredible gift. I believe it has the strongest courses on methodology for ministry. Its contextual approach has really helped shape the manner in which I approach ministerial questions, develop programs, and respond to the needs of those I serve. Its 2-week residency program was also manageable for my schedule while I was completing my coursework and working full-time.
One of the main reasons I selected Barry’s Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program was that it truly incorporated the diversity of Hispanic/Latinos in the U.S. Being in California, the focus in ministry and formation programs can often be on Mexican-American Catholics. The course material at Barry included the diversity of Hispanics/Latinos from various nationalities, and, perhaps most importantly, the diversity of the students enriched my learning as they shared their experiences, spirituality, and traditions in the classroom. Because of this program, I have developed a rich network of peers who support my ministry and my personal and spiritual life.
Running a national website, I serve a pretty diverse group of people: from recent immigrants who may only speak Spanish, to Hispanics who are bilingual and bicultural, to 3rd and 4th generation U.S.-born Hispanics or non-Hispanics who may only speak English. Every day I take into consideration all that I have learned from the faculty and staff who have taught and modeled acompañamiento. The DMin Program at Barry, with its specialization in Hispanic Theology/Ministry, has prepared me to start developing online resources for Hispanic Ministry and a mentoring program, which I hope to launch on www.ushispanicministry.com in the near future."