This conversion of heart and a missionary spirit must happen within pastors and Church leaders as well, Pierre noted, as they listen to and learn from the different people whom they serve.
"People's religious experiences, including those of the Latinos, are an authentic place of encounter with God," he said. "Pastoral conversion means moving from mere conservation to a decidedly pastoral ministry. Pastoral and missionary conversion go hand in hand with a conversion of attitudes and a conversion of statues."
A Church full of missionary spirit is one that accompanies people and remains united - in a word, a missionary Church has "synodality," he said, something that can be seen incarnate in the mission of Encuentro.
"The Encuentro process has shown the effectiveness of synodality in the Church," Pierre added. "Listening, speaking, participating by asking critical questions and discerning the path forward .if Communion is a sharing of the faithful in the mysteries of faith and mission of the church, synodality is a sign and fulfillment of communion."
Another characteristic of a missionary Church is joy, Pierre said. It celebrates "even small victories in the work of evangelization" and is nourished by the Eucharist, the sacrament in which "Christ is among us, and the joy that he has won is preserved and shared."
Finally, Pierre said, a missionary Church is one that is not afraid to go to the "peripheries", both geographical and cultural, to encounter people and bring Christ to them.
"It is my sincere hope that as we gather for these days, we may be the church that Christ wants us to be," Pierre concluded.
"With (Jesus) at the center of our lives, our conversations and our ministries, confident that with the Virgin of Guadalupe to accompany us and intercede for us, may we always move forward in hope, making known the joy of the Gospel."
Mary Farrow worked as a staff writer for Catholic News Agency until 2020. She has a degree in journalism and English education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.