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During this last week, hundreds gathered at St. Bridget Catholic Church in the small northeast Iowa town of Postville to mark the one-year anniversary of a huge immigration raid and reflect on the community’s difficulty in recovering from the arrests. In contrast, a crowd filled St. Willebrord Parish, Green Bay, WI, on May 17, 2009, to celebrate and support seventeen individuals in the first ever graduating class of the Discipulus de Cristo program.
Discipulos de Cristo, based on the research of Sister of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, Sister Laura Zelten, OSF, is geared toward leadership formation in the area of Hispanic Ministry. It came into being after numerous requests that the Diocese of Green Bay provide some sort of spiritual and academic formation program for Hispanic Catholics. It’s a 3-year program covering topics such as the Scriptures, the Church, morality -all in Spanish-that includes classes, retreats, one-on-one review sessions, workshops and seminars.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity support this initiative in various ways. Currently, Sister Marlita Henseler, OSF, serving at St. Philip Parish, Green Bay, WI, is an instructor in the program.