While approximately 57 million U.S. residents identify as Latino or Hispanic, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reports that only 30 million Hispanics identify as Catholic. About 70 percent of U.S. Latinos identified as Catholic in 2006, but today the number is closer to 57 percent.
Alejandra Bravo, the Hispanic youth ministry coordinator for the Archdiocese of Denver, said young adult Catholics just want to serve. Ms. Bravo said young Latinos face many problems today, sometimes including challenges related to their immigration status. Others simply do not feel that they belong in a parish.
The archbishop encouraged regional representatives to share their ‘faith and struggles and doubts’ with young people. “If you go into the church these days, it looks like a convention for senior citizens,” said Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City. “The young people aren’t just the future of our church, they are our church right now.”