The Diocese of El Camino Real is located in an economically prosperous region of the United States, home to a multitude of diverse cultures and languages and innovative corporations. The region is also home to many facing poverty and homelessness, many immigrants who find themselves in vulnerable legal status, and a burgeoning prisoner population.
The parishes of the Diocese of El Camino Real are committed to ministries that serve these communities. There are several parish-led efforts addressing homelessness and hunger including the Santa Maria Urban Ministry, an outreach mission of the Diocese in San Jose. Parishes have mobilized to support immigrants and immigrant rights sometimes in collaboration with COPA, a local organization that develops leaders for community organizing. The diocese passed a resolution to become a Sanctuary Diocese at its Annual Convention on October 27, 2018.
An active program brings Education For Ministry to prisoners. Parishes have reached across borders to establish partnerships with international schools and organizations in order to bring social justice and human rights to challenged international communities.
Camp St. Andrews, the official camp for the Diocese of El Camino Real, has offered summer camping experiences to more than 5,000 staff and young people in the last 40 years including 1,500 youth who received financial support. Diocesan youth are invited to participate in Sierra Service Project trips annually.
For more information about ministries, please see the Mission Commission and Partnership Commission links below. Additional information about each parish’s ministries are available on parish websites.
The mission of the Diocese of El Camino Real is to strengthen local ministries and connect our common life with the wider Church and the world. As an expression of that mission, the diocese undergirds parish missions and ministries with three pillars of support: the Mission Commission, the Partnership Commission, and the newly created position of Curator for Emerging Communities.
The Diocese of El Camino Real is a diocese of diverse ethnic and cultural communities. The Mission Commission advocates for the development of intercultural ministry throughout the diocese and supports congregations in efforts to diversify their membership, generally to better reflect their neighborhood. The Mission Commission engages with parishes and communities using a relational partnership model of mutual accountability. For information on combined parish-Mission Commission efforts in diversification, please explore the Mission Commission links below.
The Partnership Commission works with parishes to help them build their missional and social justice partnerships on a relational foundation, on a basis of mutual appreciation. The commission also works to connect the network of parish communities at work in the world by publicizing what is being done as examples for other parishes. For additional information about parish ministries, please explore the Partnership Commission links below.
Curator for Emerging Communities
The Curator for Emerging Communities is a new position in the Diocese of El Camino Real. The parishioners of the diocese are aware that today’s church longs to be in life-giving relationship with youth and young adults, the unchurched, and the diverse communities that make up our diocesan population. To do this, we are stretching beyond the walls of our churches, letting go, and opening to new ways of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ church.
This process is creative ministry that invites a melding of ancient spirituality, tradition, sacramental imagination, and modern culture. We are inviting youth and young adult voices to be at the center of an intergenerational conversation that is seeking to listen to the new ways that God calls us to be church in the world, and in relationship with one another.
The curator’s role is to serve as a midwife to this journey and nurture these new communities. For a further explanation of the curator role, click on the image to the left.