The Federation of Pastoral Institutes (FIP) was created in 1985, out of the initiative of the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and the South East Pastoral Institute (SEPI). The objective was to forge a common vision for formation and to develop a system of collaboration and mutual enrichment through the sharing of experiences. Later, many other national, regional and diocesan pastoral institutes joined the Federation.
FIP’s charism is based upon “the inspiration to motivate the desire for communion/ mission in those accompanying the education / formation of Hispanics towards becoming a people of God, in imitation of the Holy Trinity. This charisma is lived with great respect for the dignity of Hispanics and their prophetic baptismal vocation from the historical consciousness of their pastoral process” (Meeting in San Antonio, 2005).
“The Federation of Pastoral Institutes (FIP) is an organization that brings together national, regional, diocesan and local institutes, committed to the formation and enrichment of the Latino/Hispanic people of God at all levels , especially in their historic and cultural context” (Douglaston meeting, 1997).
The Federation of Pastoral Institutes takes its inspiration from the prophetic voice of the Hispanic/Latino people, a people of God on the move. This people aspires to move:
- From fragmentation to coordination.
- From a place to a home.
- From the pews to the pathways.
- From good intentions to formation.
- From disjointed efforts to a Trinitarian theology that models communion in mission (pastoral de conjunto) and team work
- From a static church to a church in process.
FIP accompanies a people becoming a people of God.
Inspired by the prophetic voice of the Hispanic / Latino people, in the year 2000, FIP, once again saw the need to give a general recognition to the value of the programs offered by institutes and pastoral centers members of FIP. In this way, the service to our poor Hispanic/Latino, migrant and immigrant people, unrecognized in their leadership capacity due to lack of access to third level study, is strengthened.
As a first step, a survey was designed and sent out to FIP members. This was followed by regional meetings with leaders representing the formation of Hispanics/Latinos. The purpose was to investigate in greater detail the programs offered in pastoral leadership formation, and the unmet needs in these programs.
This process highlighted the following:
- That the area of pastoral leadership formation is of primordial importance to pastoral institutes especially at the basic and intermediate levels.
- There is a great need for programs with content and format that respond to the needs and cultural characteristics of the Hispanic/Latino communities of the U.S.
At the annual meeting held in San Antonio, Texas in 2005, the membership approved the creation of a FIP accreditation manual for formation programs in pastoral leadership.
FIP’s contribution to ministry has been many and in varied ways. To mention a few: Manual for Theological Reflection ( 1989), First convocation that established the need to have a National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM) in 1991, the publishing of Prophetic Voices in both languages (1992), Bilingual Guide for Pastoral Institutes ( 1996), Practical Instruments and Concepts for Pastoral Institutes (1998), Accreditation Manual for Formation Programs initiated in 2006, and our latest accomplishment: “Constructores del Presente y Futuro de Nuestra Iglesia” Manual for Catholic Pastoral Institutes at the Service of the Hispanic/Latino Community in the USA, 2010.
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