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El Futuro Conference Explores Impact of Latino Students

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dominican hosted a national conference, "El Futuro is Here!," from July 31 to August 2 that drew more than 150 participants from 41 primarily Catholic institutions across the country. The conference focused on the impact that Latinx students are having on campus ministries, theologic pedagogies and the Catholic Church.

According to co-organizer John DeCostanza, director of university ministry, one of the most important parts of the conference was that it reinforced for campus ministries and theological educators that Latinos are the promise of the future for the Catholic Church and that church leaders and Catholic universities need to embrace that now--they can't wait.

"The conference was an exploration of the daily lived experience of Latinos, from a variety of different perspectives," DeCostanza said. "Meeting Latinx students where they are requires fresh, creative approaches to ministry and theological education. We must transform our campus ministries and classrooms into places of encounter and accompaniment that lead the Church and the academy into a future full of promise."

Keynote addresses by Hosffman Ospino, associate professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, and Carmen Nanko-Fernandez, professor of Hispanic theology and ministry at Catholic Theological Union, were supplemented by an excursion into Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood to explore the art, life and culture of a particular Latino community.

Ospino credited Dominican University with taking the lead on this important conversation. "I look forward to the next steps that are going to help us imagine not only a better future but also responding more effectively to the present in which we live," he said.

You can watch a video about the conference here.

You can also read articles about the conference in the Chicago Catholic and the Wednesday Journal.