March 30, 2019
Lupe Gonzalez spends most of her time traveling thousands of miles across rural West Texas to minister to over 1,100 Catholic youth and their families. She helps to fill the catechetical and sacramental needs of Catholics living in rural faith communities through bilingual leadership training and the development of high-quality religious formation programs. Lupe is quick to point out that this is not a job, it's a ministry.
When Lupe is not on the road, you can find her in a classroom at Centro San Juan Diego teaching the Sacraments bright and early on a Saturday morning as part of the Catechist Certification Program the Office of Religious Formation offers. She's highly knowledgeable, deeply spiritual, and her joy for her Catholic faith is palpable. Participants left her session uplifted and more confident and energized than when they arrived. The 4-hour class flew by in what felt like a quarter of the time.
In 2015, Lupe was nominated for Catholic Extension's prestigious Lumen Christi (Light of Christ) Award, which honors an individual or group working in one of America's mission dioceses who demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives and communities.
The mission of the Religious Formation Ministry is to foster catechesis that enables participants to experience Jesus in the hearts, minds and lives of the people of God. It provides leadership formation for the 55 parishes and 20 missions in 10 counties of El Paso. The office serves over 100 parish catechetical leaders and Confirmation coordinators, and approximately 2,600 catechists and assistants who in turn minister to over 40,000 children and youth. The Diocese of El Paso Office of Religious Formation offers Catechist Certification and trains young people for ministry and service at Centro San Juan Diego, the Diocesan Arts, Cultural and Faith Formation center for middle school youth.
The Office of Religious Formation receives funding from the Progress Annual Appeal, which represents 40% of all operating funds supporting the pastoral, spiritual, educational and human service programs that benefit thousands of individuals throughout the 10 counties of the Diocese of El Paso. You can reach Centro San Juan Diego at 915.262.4700.