"How can I, as a Religious Education Director, respond to the cultural diversity in the Church today?"
A mix of factors such as new migration patterns and the decline of the Euro-American population in many Catholic communities, has led the Church in the United States at the beginning of the third millennium to renew its awareness about cultural diversity. Nearly half of all Catholics in the country today are Hispanic, about four percent is African-American, and another four percent or so is Asian-American. Catholics of Euro-American cultural background continue to be a strong presence, but not as strong as it used to be. Because the Church in the country is not organized in national parishes any more, every parish should serve the spiritual needs of all Catholics, regardless their cultural background, in their territory. This is an exciting moment for catechetical and ministerial leaders at all levels of the Church. For some, it is a call to develop intercultural competencies to better serve their communities. This might requires learning a new language or studying some history. For others, it is an opportunity to assess how they are serving the people already in their communities and inquire the whereabouts of those who are not. Addressing cultural diversity and its challenges is not necessarily easy. Yet it is not impossible either. Cultural diversity in the Church is not an option; it is who we are.