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Latinos for Christ Sponsor "Hispanic Symposium"

A Week of Lectures, Prayer, and Multimedia Presentations

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009

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STEUBENVILLE, OH—Hispanic Catholicism made its presence known on Franciscan University's campus when the student club Latinos for Christ celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. The club sponsored a week-long "Hispanic Symposium" of lectures, prayer, and multimedia presentations from Monday, September 21, to Friday, September 25.

The symposium opened with an exhibit of 21 paintings by the artist Michael F. Pasqua. His California mission paintings follow the famed "El Camino Real" (the royal road), along which the Franciscan Blessed Junipero Serra carried out his missionary work.

On September 25, the club presented "Mojados Through the Night," an eye-opening documentary filmed over the course of 10 days that follows four men into the desperate world of illegal immigration. The following day, Keith M. Estrada, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, gave a talk and started a discussion on the question, "What does the Church have to say about immigration?" Citing a number of magisterial sources including Pope John Paul II's statements from past World Migration Days and Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Estrada emphasized the essentially pastoral nature of the Church's teaching on the subject. He drew out certain basic principles such as the right to migrate to secure the necessities of human life, the importance of international aid to reduce the need to migrate, and the need for all countries to recognize the human rights of immigrants in their laws.

On September 24, Latinos for Christ sponsored a bilingual praise and worship service in the best tradition of Franciscan University.

The week closed with a presentation on September 25 by Deacon Luis Roberto Polanco of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, on "Immigration and Human Dignity: Origins and Current Challenges." Delivering the address in Spanish as club members translated, Polanco discussed the universal character of immigration throughout human history with a special emphasis on the many migrations in salvation history.

"Let us remember," Deacon Polanco said, "that underneath every immigrant there is a human being who is a child of God and our brother in Christ Jesus. Each of us is responsible to fight for them."

For more information on Latinos for Christ or their activities, e-mail

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