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Twenty-Sixth Annual Hispanic Institute at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University Begins July 13
[July 10, 2014]

Twenty-Sixth Annual Hispanic Institute at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University Begins July 13

BERKELEY, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

Seventy-three leaders who minister to the exploding numbers of Hispanic Catholics nationwide will convene at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University July 13 - 25 for an advanced theology and pastoral ministries education program, the Instituto Hispano, or the Hispanic Institute.

The Instituto, now in its 26th year, is designed as an intensive program for Catholic leaders, mostly non-clergy, who are catechism teachers, RCIA leaders, deacons, or pre-marriage or pre-baptism counselors, and sometimes women religious or priests. The classes are taught in Spanish.

The Berkeley-based Instituto aims to provide a deeper theological education for the Hispanic community, focused on the unique lived experience of Ctholic Hispanic Americans today. This includes concepts such as inculturation - the mutual exchange between two cultures contributing to the emergence of a new culture; planning for an authentic liturgy that speaks powerfully to the community; and understanding the Gospels through a Hispanic reality.

This year the Instituto will host Noche de la Frontera, a prayer service and story-telling forum about the Hispanic migration to the U.S. from their respective countries and how God has guided them.

Participants in the Instituto must first receive training by their local diocese, and be recommended by their parish priest. Those who attend for three summers receive a Certificate in Hispanic Theological and Pastoral Studies.

A new partnership between JST and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Catholic Extension will support the studies of 25 lay ministers for each of the next three years. This $75,000 grant will allow ministers from all over the country to take part in the Instituto.

"There is a great need for leadership formation for those in the Latino Catholic community," said Teresa Montes-Lara, O.P., the director of the Instituto. "With the Instituto and other workshops throughout the year, JST is responding to that need, with top-tier faculty who are at the forefront of Hispanic theology," she added. A full list of faculty can be found at

This year's attendees come from 10 different states, including California, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky and Alaska. Forty-eight of the students are women; 25 are men.

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