JHMC History & Mission
In 1979 a group of Latino/Hispanic Jesuits gathered in San Antonio, Texas, with members of the Mexican Province and some lay associates to address the issue of Hispanic ministry in the United states and, more important, why the lack of Latino/ Hispanic vocations to the Society of Jesus. After much discussion and prayerful discernment the group came to the conclusion that viable Jesuit Hispanic Ministries must flourish in all aspects of the Church and Society. Thus, the Jesuit Hispanic Ministry Conference came into being as a result of this gathering.
A national steering committee was formed in 1983, with representatives from major apostolic works of the Society of Jesus throughout the American Assistancy who were working among the Latino/Hispanic communities. Also in 1983, a liaison was established through the Office of the Jesuit Social Ministries at the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C.
Since its early beginnings JHMC was chartered by the Jesuit Conference and affiliated with the Office of Social Ministries, and has been providing mutual support and encouragement for Jesuits involved in Hispanic ministry. It continues to present input to Provinces and the Assistancy on issues relating to Hispanic ministry.
“At this moment of grace we recognize that the Latino/Hispanic community among us is a blessing from God.” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Hispanic Presence: Challenge and Commitment, pastoral letter of the U.S. Bishops, Washington, D.C.: USCC Office of Publication and Promotion Services, 1983)
The Jesuit Hispanic Ministry Conference is an organization of Jesuits called to collaborative ministry among the Latino/ Hispanic communities of the United States in apostolic endeavors consisting of all Jesuit ministries: social, pastoral, education, formation, and retreat. In light of the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 1987), and the recent documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, Jesuits in ministry to the Latino/Hispanic communities are called to be promoters of faith and justice reaching out to marginalized people by “reading the signs of the times.” Furthermore, we are called to promote a model of church that is: evangelization, incarnate in the reality of the Latino/Hispanic people; open to diversity of cultures; active in developing leadership through integral education; acting as leaven for the kingdom of God in society.
Goals and Objectives
- To provide mutual support and encouragement for Jesuits in any aspect of Hispanic Ministry.
- To provide input and planning to the Provinces and U.S. Assistancy on issues related to Hispanic Ministry.
- To provide a forum for information and discussion in issues related to Hispanic Ministry.
- To promote and encourage young Jesuits in formation to get involved in Hispanic Ministry.
- To promote and encourage vocations among Latinos// Hispanics to the Society of Jesus.
- To collaborate actively with the laity and other groups in a pastoral de conjunto, including but not limited to: Jesuits in Black and Native American Ministries, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs of the USCCB National Catholic Council of Hispanic Ministry, and the Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (PICO).
- To seek and encourage participation of the Mexican Province, Province of the Antilles, Central American Province, Upper Canada Province, and the Independent Region of Puerto Rico at the JHMC Encuentros.
This statement of the history, mission, and goals and objectives of JHMC was written in the early 1990s.