MISHAWAKA — Sunday, Dec. 2, marked the first Sunday of Advent and a new year in the Church calendar. For the Catholic Church in the United States, something else was new as well: A new Spanish translation of the Mass was ready to be used.
The change to an updated translation of the “Misal Romano” is much like what occurred in 2011, when the English texts of the Roman Missal were retranslated to be closer to the original Latin.
Under Pope St. John Paul II, the procedure for translating liturgical texts from Latin to the vernacular was updated to ensure that the content of the Latin was translated as accurately as possible. Being faithful to the Latin original helps maintain continuity with the Church’s worship of the past, while also helping retain theological and scriptural content in the vernacular.
While the majority of the new Spanish translation was borrowed from the recently updated Mexican edition, the new Misal Romano was compiled specifically for use in the United States. For many years, Spanish Masses in the United States have been celebrated using missals from various Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, which had slight regional differences. The missal will also provide Spanish texts for saint feast days that are celebrated in the United States, and it will offer texts for the patronal feasts of many Latin American countries.
Deacon Frederick Everett, Secretary of Evangelization and Discipleship in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, shared: “This year represents a sort of turning point for Hispanic ministry in our diocese. First of all, with the ordination of 11 new Hispanic deacons to serve throughout the diocese, many new pastoral efforts become possible. With the addition of Esther Terry as the new director for Hispanic ministry, many new initiatives are being started. Finally, with the implementation of a new Spanish missal just for the United States, the growth, strength and size and Hispanic community nationally and locally have been given due recognition.”
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has roughly 15 parishes that regularly offer Mass in Spanish. In the United States, Hispanics make up roughly 35 percent of the Catholic population. The United States is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and since 1960, Hispanics count for 71 percent of the growth in the U.S. Catholic Church.
Pew cards with the new translation will be placed in parishes that offer Mass in Spanish. Find parishes and Mass times at www.diocesefwsb.org/Find-a-Parish.
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