Fr. Iván Montelongo, a priest from the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, highlights the significance of listening to “those on the peripheries” during the worldwide synodal process. He attributes the emphasis on this approach to Jesus’ own example, as Jesus consistently reached out to individuals on the margins of society. As the coordinator of the synod for his diocese, Montelongo will represent the North American region in Rome during the October Synod of Bishops. Alongside him, there are six non-bishop voting delegates from the United States and four Catholics from Canada, forming the delegation from North America. Montelongo believes that while the Church has always reached out to those on the margins, it must continuously grow and reform to continue this meaningful outreach.
National Catholic Reporter reports:
There has been a lot of talk about listening to “those on the peripheries” during the worldwide synodal process, and that’s due to a specific person, said Fr. Iván Montelongo, a priest from the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. “It’s because of Jesus — Jesus reached out to people on the margins.”
Montelongo, coordinator of the synod for his diocese, is one of the six non-bishop voting delegates from the United States who, along with four Catholics from Canada, will represent the North America region at the October Synod of Bishops on synodality in Rome. The Vatican shared a full list of participantsJuly 7.
The church has always reached out to the marginalized, but in order to continue to do so in meaningful ways it needs to consistently grow and reform, the priest said in an interview with NCR soon after his appointment. The global synod offers a powerful time for both.
Montelongo feels a personal connection to those on the peripheries: He and his family are migrants from Chihuahua, a state in Mexico.
“I did not go through the hardships my parents and grandparents went through, or the hardships that other migrants go through during their journey to this country,” said the 30-year-old. “But I understand a little bit of what it means to leave what you know behind.”
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