CHARLESTON – Experiencing “Enthusiasm for the Faith” will be a more natural process for Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Diocese of Charleston now that the Synod Implementation document has been reprinted in that language.
Sister Susan Schorsten, director of Social Ministries, said that there are approximately 30,000 residents in South Carolina who are of Hispanic origin and an indeterminable amount of migrant farm-workers, numbering in tens of thousands, who live in the state at any one time. The majority of those people are of Catholic origin and the Spanish version of the synod document is part of an expanding Hispanic and Migrant ministry. The diocese has several priests and many religious working full-time in that vocation which involves helping people become more enmeshed in the parish and diocesan-level processes. “
The translation was coordinated because, in ‘Enthusiasm for the Faith,’ we talk about being an inclusive church,” Sister Susan explained, “so we need to be conscious of those brothers and sisters who share our faith and Catholicity who do not speak English. This way we can further incorporate these Catholics and they can participate in the Synod Implementation process.”
Three people helped translate the 27-page document including Father Rick LaBrecque, pastor of St. James Church in Conway and Church of the Resurrection Mission in Loris, Rev. Mr. Diego Vinasco and Diana Cortez.
Father LaBrecque has been working in Hispanic ministry for 15 years. He is fluent in the language and says Mass in Spanish at both of his churches. He estimates that 15 percent of the Conway church is of Hispanic origin and about half of the mission in Loris.
“We hope that this translation will help increase participation on all levels of Synod Implementation,” he said. “It’s already happening in the parishes with Spanish-speaking parishioners. Every level of phase two is complete now that they have done the consultation questionnaires and received feedback in both Spanish and English. My goal is to have Spanish-speaking parishioners be every much a complete part of parish and cluster-level implementation as everybody else.”
Rev. Mr. Vinasco added that the translation of “Enthusiasm for the Faith” is more than just changing words into another language. He feels that it makes the concept of Synod Implementation more culturally accessible and understandable on more of a local level.
“It is a way for people to grow with their faith,” he said. In the lengthy translation process, Rev. Mr. Vinasco said he tried to use models of the church as it is experienced in the Spanish culture.
“For example, ‘stewardship’ translates as mayordomia which initially could be understood as ‘master of the house,’ but in the context of the church, it means administracion de los dones,” he said, “or in English ‘administration of the gifts.’ So you can see that literally translating ‘stewardship’ fails to convey the entire concept of stewardship as giving of your time, talent and treasure.
“Also, the word for ecumenism in Spanish is ecumenismo. However, the word is far above the understanding of those in our Spanish-speaking community. Therefore, it needed much more explanation as to its full concept. The translation then, makes it more realistic and this is the idea of our diocese … If it wasn’t for that, I don’t see how ‘Enthusiasm for the Faith’ would be successful in the Hispanic Community.”