The Mexican American Catholic College is partnering with the Lilly Endowment to strengthen existing programs and launch new initiatives that help pastoral leaders thrive in ministry as they serve in congregations of color. MACC received $1,000,000 to be spent over a three-year period beginning in January 2021 and continuing through December 2023.
The primary focus of the grant is to address the glaring inequities of access to integral ministerial formation and higher education for Latino(a) lay men and women who discern a call to ministry but cannot afford to receive the formation and credentials needed for employment as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. To accomplish this and in partnership with the Archdiocese of San Antonio, MACC has established the Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry and Service. The Archdiocese also committed a matching grant to support the staffing and programs of the Institute and other MACC programs that serve the local Church.
Additionally, through close collaboration with national partners in ministry formation, the project is strengthening supportive programs for Women and Men Religious in Hispanic Ministry, Priests, Seminarians, and Deacon Candidates. These programs include language and
intercultural studies, spiritual accompaniment (especially of young leaders), and supportive peer
groups to keep the hard-working pastoral leaders hopeful and healthy.
“Esperanza - Hope” is MACC’s overarching theme for the project to provide integral ministerial formation and resources for pastoral ministers to thrive. MACC believes that hope-filled ministers can fill the empty hearts of families mourning the loss of loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hope-filled ministers can give direction to communities of color paralyzed in fear and uncertainty, without trustworthy guidance. Hope-filled ministers can heal hearts and transform structures ravaged by generations of systemic racism. Hope can animate and strengthen Pastoral Leaders in Hispanic Ministry who are weary and disoriented.