Latino Catholicism in L.A.: Myths, Realities and Possibilities, 2010

Latino Catholicism in L.A.: Myths, Realities and Possibilities, 2010

Latino Catholicism in L.A.: Myths, Realities and Possibilities
October 7, 2010, Loyola Marymount University

An increasing majority of Catholics in Southern California are Latino/a. Who are Hispanic Catholics? What are the challenges and opportunities they face? How is the Church being shaped by this community? What does the future hold for the Latino/a Catholic community in relation to the entire Catholic Church in Southern California and beyond? The Latino Catholicism in L.A. discussion sought to conduct an engaging exploration of these vital questions.


  • Most Reverend Gabino Zavala, DD, JCL, a native of Guerrero, Mexico, grew up in Los Angeles and attended St. John’s Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1977 by Cardinal Timothy Manning and was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in East Los Angeles. After graduating from Catholic University of America with a degree in Canon Law, he worked in the Tribunal and was named rector of St. John’s Seminary in 1992. Two years later, Cardinal Mahony ordained him as Auxiliary Bishop for the San Gabriel Region in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


  • Fernando J. Guerra, PhD has been the Director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount since 1996. Dr. Guerra is also a professor at LMU in the departments of Chicano studies and political science. Guerra has authored numerous publications that focus on politics and ethnicity issues in California including, "Latino Politics in California: The Necessary Conditions for Success," "Minority Electoral Representation Patterns During the Pat Brown Years," and "Theory, Reality, and Perpetual Potential: Latinos in the 1992 California Elections." Guerra’s community service has included membership on the Los Angeles Transportation Commission and the Los Angeles Rent Adjustment Commission. Guerra received his B.A. in political science and international relations from USC and earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan.
  • Ellie Hidalgo, works in pastoral ministry at Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The largely Spanish-speaking parish is comprised mostly of Latino immigrants and their U.S. born children. Ellie assists with the planning of liturgies and popular religious celebrations, ongoing adult faith formation and its link to community organizing and pastoral counseling, including co-facilitating a support group for family survivors of violent crime.
  • Hosffman Ospino, PhD is Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry at Boston College. He was born in Colombia where he pursued undergraduate studies in Philosophy. He holds an MA in theology with concentration in Church History and a PhD in Theology and Education from Boston College. Dr. Ospino’s research concentrates on the dialogue between theology and culture and the impact of this interchange upon Catholic theological education, catechesis, and ministry. He has lectured nationally and internationally on these areas. His most recent book is entitled "Hispanic Ministry in the 21st Ministry Century: Present and Future."


Co-Sponsored by: The Office of President; Chicano Latino Student Services; Academic Affairs; Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts; Campus Ministry; Center for Ignatian Spirituality; Catholic Studies; Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary; T. Marie Chilton Chair; Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange; Viernes por la Tarde