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Hispanic Development and the Changing Demographic in Texas

By Tony Fontanelli, Council Growth Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Tony Fontanelli

One of the major initiatives in the Order and of special significance in our great State of Texas resulting from the great increase in the number of Hispanic families now worshipping here and throughout the US is the need for our Councils and Programs to ensure their complete inclusion in all that we do in and for our Church and the Texas State Council.

The greatest growth in the Catholic Church in the past ten years and projected for the next twenty years to come is in the Hispanic Community. We see this not only in the growing number of Parishioners of Hispanic extraction in our current parishes but also in the new parishes that are springing up all over Texas to meet the needs of these families.

Not only in new Parishes but also in many established parishes throughout Texas, the demographic of these parishes is changing rapidly. The order is adjusting to these changes with Degrees in Spanish, Spanish speaking Round Tables in Parishes that already have an established Council or no Council yet, and in the reactivation of long dormant Councils as Spanish Speaking Councils based on the current population of those parishes.

To this end, the Council Growth Team of Texas stands ready to work diligently with the Hispanic Community in each of these areas. We are blessed to have Past State Deputy and Past Vice Supreme Master Jacob Gaona of the San Antonio Arch Diocese, along with Past Faithful Navigator Carlos X Martinez of the Galveston-Houston Arch Diocese to coordinate these efforts in Texas. If a Diocese or District is planning on starting a new Council or reactivating one in a primarily Spanish Speaking Parish, please coordinate your efforts with these two Brother Knights who can provide materials and guidance to ensure your success.

The Council Growth Team heartily endorses the Hispanic Development initiative and we are anticipating several new and reactivated Spanish speaking Councils to be established in the 2019-2020 fraternal year. Of course there will also be many instances where the majority of the Parish Family is Hispanic but the Brother Knights heading up the Councils in these parishes choose to retain English as the primary use language. These also fit into the concept and spirit of the Hispanic Development initiative in the Order. The freedom to choose which language they conduct their meetings in remains a basic building block of the Council.

We of the Council Growth Team look forward to our best year yet in Hispanic Development.

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