Photo: Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off in the United States, U.S. Catholic Latino leaders will complete a major step in achieving more open communication with the Vatican. The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL) will hand deliver a formal response to Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate – Charity in Truth this week. As far as it is known, there has never been a formal response to a papal encyclical by the laity, so this is a historic first.
On Thursday, September 22, Robert Aguirre, president and CEO of CALL and principal author of the response, and a delegation of CALL members met with Peter Cardinal Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Turkson will be presented with Pope Benedict’s special edition and after review of the document, the cardinal will then present the response to the Holy Father. The response, entitled Caritas in Veritate – Charity in Truth: Our Response in Faith, is a prayer from the organization reflecting on the importance of Pope Benedict’s words and CALL’s vow to act as faithful disciples, trusting the Holy Father as their pastor and shepherd. Each member of CALL reflects on the relevance of their heritage as the first American Catholics as they realize the influence of their voice as current Latino leaders.
“As Catholic Latino leaders in our country it is our responsibility to demonstrate that our Catholic identity is defined by what we do. Members of CALL look to Blessed John XXIII’s words stating that we need to seek to align our ‘professional activity into conformity with the Church’s social teaching.’ Our Response in Faith is our prayer to carry out the mission of the Church in every aspect of our lives,” said Aguirre.
CALL (Catholic Association of Latino Leaders) is a national organization comprised of lay people dedicated to promoting the common good of the Catholic Church and of the nation. Established on the premise that it is the particular vocation of the laity to transform the world through “faithful citizenship,” CALL members do so by finding new and culturally relevant ways to preserve and promote the values of their faith–especially within the historical context that Hispanics were the first American Catholics. Internally, CALL provides a forum for members to strengthen their faith in community through prayer, education and service. Externally, CALL provides programs, services and events for the benefit of their faith, the community and the country. CALL has chapters established in Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Miami, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and San Antonio with new groups currently under formation in New York and Washington, DC.