FIP President’s Note
By Reynaldo Montemayor Jr. PhL.
President of the FIP
Director of Pastoral Institute - Diocese of Laredo (TX)
First of all, we congratulate His Excellency, Bishop Felipe Estévez, a friend and episcopal consultant of FIP, for his nomination as titular bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. I hope with a filial spirit that he continue accompanying and granting his friendship and support to the FIP, and in spite of his new obligations. Either way, on behalf of the FIP, we are grateful for his pastoral companionship and direction in our meetings and processes. And as a friend and consultant, his guidance and paternal counsel will be filially solicited as we may be in need of it.
I also want to thank Sr. Ruth Bolarte for her years of service and leadership as president of our Federación de Institutos Pastorales (Federation of Pastoral Institutes). I also very personally thank her willingness and spirit of service in offering herself up for election as our new vice-president of the FIP.
To all, members of the FIP, I send a cordial greeting and thanksgiving for having elected me as your new president. I also ask for your blessings and prayers for me and for the new Board of Directors.
I start my tasks as president with great trust in God and much hope in the Board of Directors and the rest of the FIP members. I promise to be faithful to the bylaws of our federation: to make its vision a reality and to fulfill its mission. To make this happen I need to count on the support and commitment of all FIP members.
In spite of the fact that FIP’s vision and mission have been questioned, and that we are currently working very closely with the Bylaws Committee to discern a needed renovation or adaptation, I believe that there is no question about the FIP’s essential vision of being a collaborative network among institutes of formation at the national level, that formalizes and structures itself as a federation. Neither do I believe there is a question about FIP’s essential mission, already outlined in four aspects in our bylaws:
- “To coordinate the efforts of its members, by mutual collaboration and advice with the purpose of strengthening and maximizing its formation capability and promoting excellence in its programs.” This aspect of our mission is already fulfilled in a special way every time that we encounter each other for the annual FIP meeting. Get ready for Joliet 2012! But also this aspect of our mission is being fulfilled with the Project of the new FIP Manual that actually has the purpose of strengthening and maximizing the formation capability of pastoral institutes and the excellence of their programs. I thank all those that have worked, are working and will work with the New Manual Committee so that we soon publish the New FIP Manual in Spanish and English!
- “To advice and create awareness in the institutions of the Catholic Church with the purpose of raising the quality and the number of pastoral formation programs for the Hispanic people.” This aspect This aspect of our mission has been fulfilled thanks to the prestige that FIP members and directors have earned because of their leadership and excellence in the field of formation, and especially among Hispanic Catholics. For this reason the FIP today is solicited not only to represent but also to contribute on behalf of Hispanic ministry and leadership. As an example of this we see our formal participation at the Symposium o Lay Ecclesial Ministry in Collegeville, MN. I encourage and invite all the institute members, and those organizations associated with FIP, that will be present at this symposium, to meet at one point to reflect and evaluate the lines of pastoral thought presented at the symposium with the purpose of discovering or formulating common criteria concerning formation for ecclesial service, be it for the Hispanic community or from Hispanic leadership.
“To serve other pastoral institutes which work with the Hispanics with the purpose of encouraging, supporting and giving them orientation in the basis of knowledge and experience of the Federation.” This aspect of our mission is fulfilled in a concrete way thanks to the FIP accreditation program and process, which through its Accreditation Committee has granted, and is in the process of granting, the Federación de Institutos Pastorales (Federation of Pastoral Institutes) Accreditation to various member institutes. The FIP is ready to give this service to other institutes of pastoral formation that request this accreditation on behalf of our national federation.
- “To gather, accompany and articulate the pastoral process of the Hispanic people, in order to maintain its historic memory and project its formation towards the future.” This aspect of our mission has been fulfilled in an illustrious way thanks to the “live and living tradition” of several of our founding institutes, and other member institutes, that were and are a vital part in the articulation and the pastoral process of the Catholic Hispanic people (ie., the Encuentros, the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry, etc.). It is an honor to recognize and be grateful that the FIP was born and rooted in this history! And we know that the deeper the root or foundation, the higher the tree or building penetrates into the sky! Similarly, the FIP forges onward to a future renaissance of leadership from among the Catholic Hispanic community.