Our Growing Hispanic Community

 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed... sowed in a field which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree."

The Hispanic Community of St. Philip Parish has indeed grown from a small "seed" of faithful Catholic Christians who immigrated to our area in search of work to better support themselves and their families.  Another high priority for them was to find a community where they would be able to practice their deep faith and continue to share their cultural heritage and values.  They are very grateful that they have found such a welcoming community here in St. Philip Parish which opened its doors to them several years ago when Fr. Larry Canavera was Pastor.  The Parish continued to welcome them during the years that Fr. Walter Stumpf and Fr. Tony Cirignani were here.  In 2010, Bishop Ricken assigned Fr. José Antonio Castañeda, the first Latin American priest to be ordained in the Green Bay Diocese, as Parochial Vicar and later as Administrator of our parish.  In July, 2014, Sr. Jane Riha, Franciscan Sister of the Holy Cross, was appointed to the Parish as Pastoral Leader.  Sr. Jane was already well acquainted with the Hispanic community, having worked with them in other areas of the Diocese.  She also was instrumental in initiating Discípulos de Cristo, a faith ministry formation program offered in Spanish by our Diocese.

The Hispanic Leadership Group, begun in 2010, consists of 18 members and continues to take responsibility in all activities in the parish.  Members take charge of training and assigning lectors, communion distributors, ushers and acolytes.  The leadership group, meets regularly and are an integral part of St. Philip Parish.  They are willing to do what they can to support parish activities and share in the life of the Parish Community.

The Parish also has a Hispanic Youth Group which consists of about 30 members, all of whom are 18 years of age or older.  They meet each Sunday morning for a Formation Class and then attend the noon Mass as a group.  A group of about 80 children meet each Tuesday evening for Religious Education and preparation for First Communion.  The calendar for Saturdays is filled with requests for Quinceañera celebrations (15th birthday) and the Sacraments of Matrimony and Baptism.

Sr. Pat Vanden Bergh works full time in Hispanic Ministry in our parish and Diana Sturgeon assists part time.  Although the Hispanic people bring differences to our  Parish Community, their culture is one that continues to enrich and strengthen our community - and American society as a whole - adding to the richness and diversity of our nation of immigrants.

Sr. Pat VandenBergh

Submitted by Diana Sturgeon
Date Published: 03/28/2011

 

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