Welcome to El Puente

Welcome to El Puente April 2, 2016


(Para el texto en español, por favor haga clic en este enlace.)  

Welcome to El Puente, a blog that aspires to be a place of reflection and dialogue on the pastoral and theological challenges that go hand in hand with becoming an increasingly intercultural and global church. I am convinced that the experiences of Hispanic Catholics in the United States and our brothers and sisters in faith in Mexico and beyond offer meaningful insights on what living our discipleship in community is about. It is from that perspective that this blog aims to serve and encourage readers who are doing their best to proclaim the gospel as lay, religious, or ordained in a church that we all love—grace, warts-and-all.

La Virgen en Houston, photo by Victor Carmona.

As for me, my name is Victor. I was born in the U.S. but spent my childhood and part of my early adulthood in Mexico. The experience of growing up at the U.S.-Mexico border marks the way I see the church and broader society. For instance, when I was a teenager, an immigration officer asked me at the Port of Entry in Calexico which country I would choose if forced to do so. I said that I felt like he was asking me to choose between my father and my mother. I love them both. And yet, at times, Mexicans have rejected me for having been born in the U.S. and Americans—including Mexican-Americans—have rejected me for being “too Mexican.” This happens to many others, too. Part of the reason I care so much about the church is that our vocation is to be a sacrament of union with God and “of the unity of the whole human race.” (Lumen gentium, 1) Unfortunately, like many others, I have also experienced rejection within our church. And yet, our vocation to be such a sacrament gives me a reason to hope.

Today, I am an assistant professor of moral theology at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX. The School is a culturally diverse community that includes domestic and international students who are preparing for ministry as lay ecclesial ministers, religious, and diocesan priests. It is an exciting place in which to serve as a theologian. I received my doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. There, great professors trained and mentored me, including Gustavo Gutierrez, O.P., a father of Latin American liberation theology, Virgilio Elizondo, a father of U.S. Hispanic theology, and Todd Whitmore, whose love and knowledge of Catholic social teaching left their mark. These and other wise men and women instilled great respect in me for the gifts and needs that all the baptized, especially the poor and marginalized, bring to the table. For these and other reasons, I am convinced that pastoral reality matters a great deal, more so if as a church we are to live up to our vocation a sacrament of unity.

I am grateful to Sam Rocha and Patheos for inviting me to join the Catholic channel. I look forward to blogging in English and Spanish on challenges that go hand in hand with becoming an increasingly intercultural and global church, including immigration.  Y una vez más, ¡bienvenidos/as a El Puente!.



Is there a particular topic that you would like to read about on this blog? If so, let me know in the comments section or send me an email at elpuente.patheos@gmail.com .

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