The Catholic University of America

Dissertation Defense: Sr. Joan Faraone

Final Examination of

Joan Faraone, RJM

for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Friday, April 17, 2009

2:00 p.m.

Committee in Charge

Chair: Mario A. Rojas, Ph.D.

Secretary: Rev. Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M., Ph.D.

Director: Berard Marthaler, S.T.D., Ph.D.

Reader: John T. Ford, M.A., S.T.D.

Reader: Lucy M. Cohen, Ph.D.


EDUC 720 Emerging Leadership Theory

EDUC 729 Administrative Internship

TRS 741B Liturgy and Culture

TRS 743A Liturgical Catechesis

TRS 751B History and Theory of Catechetics I

TRS 751C History and Theory of Catechetics II

TRS 752A Christian Spirituality

TRS 755A Hispanic/Latino Theology

TRS 764B The Church as Communion

TRS 769A Crucifixion of Jesus in Contemporary Theology

TRS 859 Method in Christian Spirituality

TRS 895 Directed Readings

TRS 997 Doctoral Dissertation Guidance


"The Evolution of the Secretariat of Hispanic Affairs of NCCB/USCCB and its Contribution to Catechesis for Hispanics/Latinos in the United States"

The influx of Hispanic/Latino newcomers, Catholic by faith, culture and identification, necessitated creative pastoral response. Over the years, the Church in the United States played an ambiguous role in addressing the ministerial needs of Hispanics/Latinos, until Archbishop Robert Lucey of San Antonio took the lead in institutionalizing a response to their plight, through local, regional and national structures. His plans underwent numerous organic transformations, and in 1974, the Secretariat of Hispanic Affairs was established. But this Secretariat too was destined to be transitory, replaced in January, 2008, by a Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church.

This dissertation utilizes official publications, communications, archival materials, surveys, episcopal statements, interviews, correspondence and the pastoral initiatives of the Secretariat of Hispanic Affairs to chart the Secretariat's contribution to the development and nurturance of Hispanic/Latino spirituality, faith life and catechetical strategies; to determine its sensitivity to, and effectiveness in, promoting an inculturated catechesis; to assess its ability to invite and integrate Hispanics/Latinos into the United States Catholic Church; and to ascertain its support, encouragement and identification of Hispanic/Latino Church leadership.

The research revealed an evolving Hispanic/Latino Catholic community and Secretariat. The data indicated that while the Secretariat of Hispanic Affairs, acting as publisher, clearinghouse, lobbyist, convener and vision-setter, was instrumental in spearheading Hispanic Ministry in the U.S., its catechetical impact was debatable, and at best, a by-product of other priorities and initiatives.