Friday July 3, 2015
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Our new bishop fitting in well with Hispanic community

      Our new bishop has been making himself known to our diocese. Sometimes it seems that he has not been able to say "no" to an invitation. He also seems to be doing all this with much "joy".  I have been with him on many of these invitations, especially in the Hispanic communities of our diocese.

      He seems to have no difficulty fitting in wherever he visits, and what helps him in the Hispanic community is that he is fluent in Spanish. Sometimes he feels he does not have enough command of the language, but from where I sit he not only knows the language, he knows our culture. In his homilies he references the struggles in the readings or the Gospels and lines them up with some of the true-to-life struggles of our communities.

      His command of the language comes from actual immersion in the Dominican Republic. He spent three years in a sister parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family Parish). At La Sagrada Familia parish he worked with another priest also from Milwaukee and a pastoral staff. This pastoral staff worked on health care needs and social work. Then-Father Hying and his fellow priest worked with the spiritual needs of the parish: evangelization, adult and youth formation, catechesis, sacraments and leadership training. He has said that his time at La Sagrada Familia is "one of the great experiences in my life." He experienced another spirituality of generosity among the poor, joy and total confidence in divine providence.

      The bishop learned that while Latin America may suffer from material poverty, we in this country often suffer from loneliness and spiritual poverty. Having experienced this changes many people's view of our communities. I believe this knowledge will serve our bishop well in our ever-growing Hispanic Catholic population in our diocesan parishes.

      Welcome, Bishop Hying, (or as he introduces himself in our parishes, "Yo soy Obispo Donaldo.")

     Adeline Torres is director of the Office of Intercultural Ministries. The preceding column appeared in Spanish in the Northwest Indiana Catholic dated June 21, 2015.

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