Catholics of 2014: Hosffman Ospino

Hosffman Ospino is an increasingly authoritative voice in the areas of Hispanic theology and catechesis.

As an assistant professor of Hispanic ministry and religious education for the Department of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, Ospino is shaping the next generation of Catholic theologians and religious educators. But it is his original research on U.S. Hispanic ministry, released in 2014, that has garnered an unprecedented level of interest in his work — and secured his place as one of Our Sunday Visitor’s 2014 Catholics of the Year.

This groundbreaking study, “Hispanic Ministry in U.S. Parishes” (OSV, 2014), documents the state and status of Hispanic ministry in the Church today. That the U.S. Church is rapidly moving toward a Hispanic majority gives significant impetus to his work, and Ospino has called attention to the challenges and the opportunities awaiting Catholic parishes as they embrace this reality.

He reminds Catholic leaders that Hispanic ministry is about much more than simply ministry done in Spanish. After all, 61 percent of today’s Hispanics were born in this country. This is not simply an immigrant Church. Nor is it only one community, but rather a gathering of many different cultures and heritages that are further enriching the already rich tapestry of U.S. Catholic diversity.

Born and raised in Colombia, but now settled in Massachusetts with his wife and two children, Ospino is unfailingly optimistic about the transformation that is occurring in the Church. “We are witnessing the birth of a new way of being a parish and with it, a fresher way of redefining the U.S. Catholic experience,” he wrote. It is this optimism that makes his such an important voice for all of us.

Greg Erlandson is OSV’s president and publisher.

Catholics of 2014

Sister Maria Hanna