About the Initiative

Investing in the Church

Hispanics are responsible for 71% of the growth of the Church since 1960. While 55% of school age Catholic children and half of all Catholic Millennials are Hispanic, a whopping 70% decide to leave the Church before the age of 24. With such a large presence in the American Catholic Church, there’s a huge opportunity to better engage Hispanic families and their children. Dioceses and parishes around the country must not only be welcoming, but better equipped to support the community through Hispanic ministry.

Hispanic Experience

63% of Catholics under 18 in the U.S. are of Hispanic origin.

What We're Doing

Investing in the Church

Through our initiative-focused grant program, the OSV Institute supports organizations and programs that seek to learn from and better understand the Hispanic experience in America in order to:

  • Enrich the methods and approaches of ministry to all U.S. Catholics.
  • Form and increase new Hispanic/Latino leaders to achieve greater leadership inclusion, ministerial responsiveness and faith-based resources.
  • Provide more pastoral support, services and resources to the Hispanic/Latino community.
  • Reach and engage second and third generation Hispanic/Latino young people.
  • Keep new immigrants Catholic and thriving.

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, 26% of parishes in the U.S. specifically serve Hispanic or Latino Catholic communities. Only one in four Catholic parishes celebrates Mass at least once a month in Spanish.

The mutual influence of Catholicism and Hispanic people in the United States is shaping not just the future of American Catholic life, but also the life of the nation.

Think Tank Contributors

Bishop Nelson J. Perez

Bishop Nelson J. Perez was installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland in September 2017. Prior to that appointment, Bishop Perez served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York. In that capacity, he served as the Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry overseeing fifty-four parishes with pastoral ministry to Hispanics; Formation Programs and Ecclesial Movements. He serves as a member of the USCCB Standing Committee on Cultural Diversity, chair of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs and is the lead bishop of V Encuentro for Episcopal Region II.

Fr. Rafael Capό

Fr. Rafael Capό a priest in the Archdiocese of Miami, FL., is Executive Director of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Southeast Regional Office for Hispanic Ministry and its Southeast Pastoral Institute. He teaches theology at the graduate level and has participated in all major organizations of Hispanic Ministry. He is a member of the USCCB’s V National Encuentro Leadership team and World Youth Day National Advisory Committee. He also serves as Advisor to the Board of the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (LaRed) and was appointed a Pontifical Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis.

Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR

Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR is a priest with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal based in the Bronx, NY and the founder of Corazon Puro and Latinos por la Vida, both organizations dedicated to forming youth. He hosts the EWTN Espanol TV program “Clic con Corazon Puro” in both Spanish and English. He is also co-founder of Catholic Underground, an apostolate of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal bringing evangelization and the visual arts together. He is also co-founder of JPII and Casa Guadalupe, houses of discernment for men & women respectively.

Javier Bustamante

Javier Bustamante is the Executive Director of the Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. He is responsible for overseeing the development of resources and leadership to serve the diverse cultural communities with primary responsibility for the Hispanic community.

Dr. Peter Casarella

Dr. Peter Casarella is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Director of the Latin American North American Church Concerns Project in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has served as President of both the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the US and the Academy of Catholic Theologians. He has authored numerous academic papers published in a variety of scholarly journals and was the founding Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University.

Dr. Maria R. Chavira

Dr. Maria R. Chavira has been Chancellor of the Diocese of Phoenix since 2013 and prior to that was a professor in and chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at Mesa Community College. She received her doctorate at the University of Arizona where she developed a recruitment model and program for minority transfer students. She also chaired the Evaluations Committee of the Hispanic Women’s Conference (HWC) in an effort to increase scholarships for Latina women discerning a baccalaureate degree.

Lucia Baez Luzondo, JD, MAPT

Lucia Baez Luzondo, JD, MAPT is a licensed attorney, currently serves as Director of Mediation, Public Policy and Catholic Multicultural Ministries at Live the Life, a faith-based, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening marriages and families. She formerly was Director of the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Ms. Luzondo co-hosts several worldwide radio and television programs on EWTN and is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant, writer and developer of Catholic educational programs.

Dr. Hosffman Ospino

Dr. Hosffman Ospino is an Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College where he is also Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry. Dr. Ospino was the principal investigator for the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry and co-investigator for the National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families. He is the author of 13 books and numerous academic articles. He is an officer of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States and on the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association in addition to serving on the leadership team coordinating the process of the V National Encuentro.

Dora Tobar

Dora Tobar received her Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She currently serves a Director for Family Life and Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana. She has written numerous articles for youth and parents formation. She is also the editor-in-chief of www.portumatrimonio.org, a website sponsored by the USCCB.

Get connected.

OSVinspire brings Catholic apostolates, organizations, and individuals together, spurring collaboration and innovation to better engage Hispanics in the Catholic Church. Connect with thought leaders who are shaping the way the Church reaches this group. This demographic spans generations and we need to work together to inspire change.

Apply for a Grant

The grant committee accepts applications at different times throughout the year depending on each initiative. Applications can be submitted by creating an account, determining eligibility and filling out the form in the grantee portal. Click below to review deadlines for each initiative cycle and learn more about the grant application process.