(MIAMI, FL) — Barry University and 15 other Catholic institutions, led by the University of Notre Dame and Boston College, will use a $7.9-million grant from the Lilly Endowment to grow America’s next generation of Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders.
WHY IT MATTERS
In the United States, Hispanics are the largest growing population of Catholics, but the number of U.S.-born Hispanic lay ministers, women and men religious, seminarians, priests and deacons serving in Catholic faith communities is relatively small. To address this disparity, Lilly is funding the creation of Haciendo Caminos, an initiative designed to reduce barriers and increase support for graduate theological education for U.S.-born Hispanic Catholics; increase knowledge of, and interest in, ministerial professions among this population; and create a consortium of Catholic higher education institutions forming pastoral leaders at the graduate level in collaboration with local ecclesial organizations.
“The Haciendo Camino initiative seeks to mentor these young ministers through their theological formation at the graduate level. It will help advance the mission of Barry University’s Institute for Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry,” said the Rev. Jorge Presmanes, O.P., Professor of theology and the Director of Barry’s Institute for U.S. Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry. Founded in 2006 and located in Barry’s Department of Theology and Philosophy, the Institute prepares leaders from throughout the U.S. and within the local community to serve the Hispanic/Latino Church in a variety of ministerial positions.
As a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, Barry is committed to developing new models of theological and ministerial formation that address the dual challenges of the Catholic Church's changing demographics and the need for more lay ecclesial ministers.
Notre Dame will oversee the management of the Haciendo Caminos grant, which is being funded through the third and final phase of Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. Pathways for Tomorrow is designed to help theological schools across the U.S. and Canada as they prioritize and respond to the most pressing challenges they face in preparing pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
Notre Dame is one of 16 theological schools that have received grants through the Pathways initiative to fund large-scale, highly collaborative programs. In January 2021, Lilly Endowment launched the Pathways initiative because of its longstanding interest in supporting efforts to enhance and sustain the vitality of Christian congregations by strengthening the leadership capacities of pastors and congregational lay leaders.
“We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment and Dr. Timothy Matovina from the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Hosffman Ospino from Boston College, who are leading this extraordinary effort to foment careers in ministry in the Church among U.S.-born Hispanics,” Rev. Presmanes said. “We see this grant as an affirmation of Barry University’s mission to serve the Church and the Hispanic community in the U.S.”
“It’s important to work together with our Catholic academic colleagues to educate and inspire young Latinas and Latinos to become the next generation of faith leaders here in Miami and for the rest of the country,” Barry President Mike Allen said.
The other institutions working with Notre Dame and Boston College on the Haciendo Caminos initiative include:
Aquinas Institute of Theology, Catholic Theological Union, Fordham University, Franciscan School of Theology (San Diego), Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University New Orleans, Mexican American Catholic College, Mount St. Mary's University, Oblate School of Theology, Santa Clara University, St. John's Seminary (Camarillo, CA), and University of the Incarnate Word.