E-Newsletter of the 

Summer 2015

Dear co-workers and friends,


Greetings and welcome! I am pleased to introduce you to the electronic newsletter of

Sr. Myrna Tordillo, MSCS

Asian and Pacific Island Affairs of the USCCB/Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.


In this quarterly newsletter, we will highlight news and events and other important information from the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs (SCAPA) and from the network of pastoral leaders and Asian and Pacific Island Catholic associations and groups around the country.


A few weeks ago, I was at the June meeting of the SCAPA, which was held in conjunction with  the USCCB Spring meeting in St. Louis, MO. The Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, whose mandate is "to affirm the gifts and contribution of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics and provide more opportunities for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape it's evangelizing mission", assists and works collaboratively with the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and other USCCB committees and offices "on issues and initiatives that impact Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the Church." Bishop Randolph Calvo, Bishop of Reno, is chairman of SCAPA. I am very grateful to Bishop Calvo and the Subcommittee members for their guidance to and support of the work of Asian and Pacific Island Affairs office of the Secretariat.


Among the initiatives and programs that SCAPA supports is the development of a national pastoral plan for ministry to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the USA. You will find an update on the National Pastoral Plan below and by clicking to this link.


We hope this newsletter will serve as a bridge to help you to be connected with us in the office of Asian and Pacific Island Affairs and with our network of collaborators.


I would like to thank Kathryn Egan and Yolanda Taylor-Burwell, staff of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity for their hard work in putting together this e-newsletter; we look forward to hearing from you for ideas and feedback to improve the e-newsletter. Please contact us at [email protected]. Have a great summer and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.


Sr. Myrna Tordillo, MSCS

Assistant Director

USCCB/Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church 


Development of a National Pastoral Plan for

Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the USA


The Need for a Pastoral Plan
In order to accomplish the goals and objectives defined in the current USCCB strategic planning cycle and aligned with our overall strategic plan of the Journey with Christ: Faith, Worship, and Witness, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs (SCAPA) has determined the need for a National Pastoral Plan for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics. The Pastoral Plan will be a concrete, useful, and strategic tool for pastoral agents as guidelines to serve API Catholics. 


A National Pastoral Plan, initiated by the USCCB in collaboration with the Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) Catholic networks will identify the current 

conditions and needs of the particular ethnic communities in matters related to how the faith is lived and expressed in their particular context. The plan will encourage evangelization among our faithful brothers and sisters, express a vision of the Catholic faith within each ethnic community, and determine the steps needed by the communities in order to make this faith vision a future reality.

API are now six percent of the overall US population with an increasing number immigrating each year. This makes API communities the fastest growing minority group in the United States bringing together a rich cultural diversity not only to the larger American population but to the Church as well.


While the majority of these new immigrants are not Catholic, (Filipino and Vietnamese immigrants exceed the national average of US Catholics to the population), the sheer number of Asian immigrants will mean a large influx of API Catholics into US dioceses. They will turn to the Church for both spiritual and material sustenance and the American Church must be prepared to minister to these new immigrants. A pastoral plan will outline how this support will be provided. 


A 2014 report on the CARA study and the 2015 white paper report from Drs. Tricia Bruce, Stephen Cherry and Gerry Park provide background on the Asian and Pacific Island communities in the USA and their countries of origin respectively.


Process in Developing the Plan

The process began with input from various API communities through an advisory board and a steering committee formed by SCAPA and a consultation tool was developed.

  • A team of social scientists led by Dr. Tricia Bruce of Maryville College is working with SCAPA for the research to gather, process, and interpret information.
  • Notifications were sent to ordinaries and communities to be consulted.
  • An on line survey was made available in December 2014 and is currently open. The survey is translated into 12 languages including: Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Mayalayam and Tongan. Click survey to begin. 
  • In addition to the on-line survey, Dr. Bruce and her team are conducting focus groups and leadership interviews in various parts of the country.
  • Collation and interpretation of data will follow and Dr. Bruce will provide a report to SCAPA in August 2015


Noting the benchmark and timelines, there is much work ahead and resources needed leading to the development of a national pastoral plan and subsequently its implementation. But the with guidance by SCAPA in consultation with the standing committee, input from the advisory board and steering committee, and collaboration from API communities- clergy, religious and laity, the national pastoral plan will address what the Church will do to invite the API to a more active role in parish, diocesan, and national church activities, and what steps the parish, diocesan, and national church structures can take to welcome and facilitate API participation. 

Community Updates

Filipino Community update

The Archdiocesan Filipino Council (AFC) builds upon the rich Catholic legacy of faith in its

Archdiocese of Baltimore Filipino Council - Feasts of San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod
Filipino culture and seeks to "bring about in all Catholics in the archdiocese such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others."  


She is committed to serve the Filipino communities/ministries by representing the Filipino Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  She will promote Filipino Catholic values and active participation among Filipino families in the life of the local Church. The AFC will work towards the solidarity of all Filipino Catholic organizations, developing a commitment of Filipino groups towards active participation in the Archdiocese, and training Filipino leaders for the continuing work of the mission of the Church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.


Hawaiian Community update

Youth and adults from St. Rita Church in Nanakuli Hawaii will be attending the Music Ministry Alive! Conference at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. There they will attend classes and workshops on liturgy, liturgical music, liturgy planning and they will also share the Hawaiian Culture.

Prior to going to St. Kate U, they will be staying at St. John University in Collegeville, MN, being offered hospitality by the Benedictine Community. There the St. Rita Youth and adults will share their Hawaiian culture in song and dance with the Benedictine Community.


Japanese Community update

The St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA) community celebrated the 150th Anniversary (March 17, 1865) of the Emergence of the Persecuted, Hidden Christians of Japan at the Annual Archdiocese of Los Angeles' Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California, with its multicultural exhibit on Japanese Catholicism.  


The exhibit, viewed by many of the approximately 30,000 conferees at the Congress, displayed a historic timeline from the August 15, 1549 arrival of St. Francis Xavier in Japan to the current day. Also included a replica of an original "Fumie" used to identify Christians and a print of the Blessed Mother believed to date back to the earliest days of the persecution in 1600's and presented to Father Bernard Petitjean by the Hidden Christian in 1865. This painting was recently located in Europe and returned to the Archdiocese of Nagasaki in time for the anniversary celebration.

October 24, 2015 - International Cultural Festival (ICF) at Bishop O'Connell High School (BOHS), Arlington, VA


May 7, 2016 - Asian and Pacific Island Catholics for Mary, 14th Annual Pilgrimage, Washington, DC


July 2016 - Laotian Catholic National Conference, Milwaukee, WI

Past Events

June 27, 2015 - 18th Annual National Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Antipolo, Washington, DC

June 9-14, 2015 Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Camp

May 11-15, 2015 - KAPA Annual Conference, Techny Towers Conference & Retreat Center, Techny, Illinois

February 23-27, 2015 - Korean Priests Association (KAPA) Orientation Program, Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, CA

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 
Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church 
Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs (SCAPA)
3211 Fourth Street, NE,  Washington, DC 20017
Telephone: 202-541-3177 Email: [email protected]  
In This Issue

Socialize with Us

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter