September 21, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
For almost 20 years, the month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 has been called Hispanic Heritage Month. Almost 55 million Americans are from an Hispanic-speaking background who come from all of the countries of Latin America and even Spain.
It is important that people maintain their heritage, especially in the United States that allows what we call the “hyphenated-American.” Americans are not homogenized people; we are people with deep roots in our own culture which give us the wings necessary to participate in the rich culture of the United States of America. No one should ever forget their origins, because this helps us to be grounded, giving us a sense of strength and unity so that we can participate in the larger society.
In our own diocese here in Brooklyn and Queens, we are greatly blessed to have a large Hispanic population with 32 percent attending Spanish-language Masses. The word “Hispanic” is a term coined in the United Sates which covers those who speak Spanish. Some prefer the word “Latino” which refers to many, especially to those from Mexico. Whatever term we use, however, it is most important that we show respect for the many cultures that contribute to the American mosaic.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.