Catholic schools make outreach to Hispanic community a priority

(CNS) As a cap-and-gown clad Sally Luciano stepped across the stage to receive her high school diploma this past June, she was surrounded by the cheers of Kleenex-clutching parents and the faculty and staff of St. Mary’s Academy, the 158-year-old prep school in downtown Portland.

It was a treasured moment for the teen and her parents, who emigrated from the Dominican Republic before their daughter was born. It also reflected a relatively uncommon occurrence in the Archdiocese of Portland.

A 2016 report by the Oregon Community Foundation, which promotes effective philanthropy, found that the number of Latinos in the state has increased by 72 percent since 2000. According to the archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry, around 50 percent of western Oregon’s Catholics are Hispanic. [More]