By Celine Klosterman
Miguel Moreno, a Catholic with more than 14 years of experience in diocesan Hispanic ministry, will join the Davenport Diocese Sept. 16 as coordinator of multicultural ministries.
Moreno currently serves as a consultant for the Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. By April 2014, he hopes to finish work on a doctor of ministry degree through the Catholic Theological Union.
In the Davenport Diocese, he looks forward to joining priests, Sisters and lay people who are already working “to understand and affirm the cultural diversity, faith and talents that all bring to the Catholic Church,” he said.
Moreno will direct training and parish leadership in Hispanic and Vietnamese ministry, coordinate Spanish- and Vietnamese-language pastoral formation and catechesis, and oversee ministry to other ethnic communities in the diocese. He’ll work with nearly all diocesan departments, including faith formation, vocations, social action, liturgy, stewardship and the diaconate, said Char Maaske, the diocese’s chief financial officer.
“Hiring for the multicultural position has been part of our strategic plan since 2011, but the funding for the position has not been available until now,” she said. In the past few years, priests who serve Hispanic and Vietnamese communities have told diocesan staff about the needs of multicultural populations in the diocese, she added.
One of those priests, Father Rudolph Juarez, informed Moreno of the open position after meeting him through a mutual friend. “Miguel is a committed layman and genuinely good person,” said Fr. Juarez, pastor of St. Patrick’s in Iowa City. “He brings organizational skills that are top notch; he is friendly and approachable, and he is a man of profound faith with a competent and thorough knowledge of the Church and her rich theology and history.”
Moreno studied for the priesthood in his native Peru and taught religion for five years before coming to the United States. From 1998 to 2004, he worked for the Diocese of Saginaw, Mich., as director of the Hispanic Lay Formation Program. From 2004–12, he served as director of the Hispanic Ministry Office for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill. In 2006, he spent three months coordinating the Hispanic Permanent Diaconate Program in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. Since March, he has been a consultant for the Pastoral Migratoria Project in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
He has translated various catechetical and devotional materials, as well as documents for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
His family includes his wife, Rosa, of 14 years and a 12-year-old son, Miguel. “I was proud to become a U.S. citizen in 2008,” Moreno said. In his free time, he enjoys concerts, plays, reading, writing and classical music.
Thomas Garlitz, director of human dignity for the Diocese of Joliet, consulted with Moreno on issues of immigrant justice when Moreno worked for that diocese. “Miguel is a visionary leader with a special gift for creating programs to form people for discipleship and ministry in Christ,” Garlitz said. “His deep love of God and the Church leave everyone who meets him challenged and inspired.”
Fr. Juarez said he looks forward to working with Moreno. “I see his coming on board as an augmentation and validation of the pastoral vision and commitment of Bishop Martin Amos and his diocesan staff to serving all of God’s people.”