Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez will join bishops from throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii to lead delegations of Catholic leaders for the regional V (Fifth) gathering at the Visalia Convention Center (303 E Acequia Ave, Visalia, CA 93291) on April 27, 28 and 29, 2018.

The regional V Meeting will convene a historic ecclesial gathering of more than 1,000 Hispanic Ministry leaders / delegates from dioceses, ecclesial movements, schools, universities and Catholic organizations from the three states. The selected delegates representing 15 dioceses participated in the local process over the past couple of years. More than 20 bishops are expected to lead diocesan delegations.

The regional gathering is part of the national V Encuentro, a four-year process of evangelization, mission and consultation under the theme Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love. This year’s theme was inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). The process has been the catalyst for developing ministries in the Church throughout the nation during the past fifty years.

The goal of the V Encounter is to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Latino Catholic community, strengthen the ways in which the local Church responds to the needs of all the faithful, and empower the faithful to be leaders in their communities as missionary disciples. The regional V Encuentro process will be one of listening and discerning the voices from all the diocesan processes of V Encuentro reflections.

“The V Encuentro is a wake-up call for all Catholics, but especially our Hispanic / Latino communities to become agents of renewal for Church and society,” said Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, a theologian from Loyola Marymount University who spoke at V Encuentro Diocesan Gathering in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and will be speaking to delegates at the regional gathering. “For fifty years, the Encounter processes have contributed to a strong pastoral and social justice agenda for the Church in the United States, one that resonates perfectly with Pope Francis’ call for pastoral conversion and missionary discipleship.”

The Meetings are supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dating back to 1972, the first Encounter was thought as a place where lay leaders could express their needs, aspirations and contributions to the Catholic Church. The last national IV Meeting was held in 2000 in Los Angeles.

Full story at Diocese of Los Angeles website.