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I got an email this morning from Jefferson City’s Bishop Shawn McKnight with this piece of news, via the local News Tribune:
The makeup of the Diocese of Jefferson City has shifted over the past 10 years, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight reported to the Vatican earlier this summer.
Diocese - Mix - Areas - Communities - Area
The diocese he presides over is a mix of urban and rural areas, mostly made up of rural communities. And, while the area’s population slightly increased, he stated in his “ad limina” report, the number of Catholics has slightly decreased.
Despite the decrease in Catholic population, the Spanish-speaking population within the diocese has gone from making up 4 percent of the population of the diocese to about 20 percent.
Jump - Average - Catholic - Church
Although a significant jump, it’s not as high as the national average for the Catholic Church, he said.
Reaching that population is challenging, church officials said. So, the May 4 ordination of four primarily Spanish-speaking deacons has come at a time when they are greatly needed, said Enrique Castro, director of intercultural ministries for the Diocese of Jefferson City.
Time - Deacons - Diocese - Castro - Brand
“This is the first time that we have had Spanish-speaking deacons in the diocese,” Castro said. “They are brand new.”
They each have assignments — to work in parishes and across the diocese, he added.
Assignment - Bishop - Castro - Assignment
“Their first assignment from the bishop was the parish,” Castro said. “They also get a diocesan-wide assignment, which was...
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