Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998
 

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, - OO0 / lames M. Woods' 1993 h/story of the diocese, "Mission and Memory," devotes only two paragraphs to Hispanics in kansas. In 1921, he notes, the diocese sought to provide a priest to serve Mexican workers in the bauxite mines, and three decades later Bishop Fletcher sought to obtain a priest from Mexico for migrant farm workers in eastern and southern Arkansas. In 1965, Father John Manchino (now retired) opened a mission church for Hispanics near Elaine, in Phillips County, and in 1976 Bishop McDonald appointed a 78 By Father James R. Brockman, SJ native Arkansan, Father Robert Torres (now retired), as director of the ministry to Hispanics. During the 1960s, however, a group of Hispanics of various nationalities had begun meeting monthly for Mass and other activities at St. John Seminary. Father Torres headed this group from 1973 on, that is, beginning a year after the arrival of Bishop McDonald. Father Torres attend- ed the Second National Hispanic Encuentro in Washington, DC, in 1978. In 1989, Bishop McDonald named Father Scott Friend coordi- nator of Hispanic ministry in the diocese, while continuing as pas- tor of the parish at camden. Father Friend continued expand" ing the ministry to Hispanics as he served in Texarkana for a year and then later in Little Rock. Except for about seven months, he also had to serve as pastor of a parish during his four years charge of developing Hispanic ministry. The Hispanic ministry office was wherever Father Friend happened to be stationed. Hispanic population in the diocese was growing, and the 1990 U.S. Census counted almOSt 20,000; every county in ArkansaS had at least some Hispanics. Sirlce Census counts of minorities are notoriously low, we can assume that the real numbers were more than 20,000. By mid-1993, several priests were celebrating Mass in Spanisll for Hispanics at least monthly Little Rock, Grady, Hot Springs' Rogers, Jonesboro, HambUrg' Warren, Arkadelphia, De Queen, Dardanelle, and Fort Smith. Father Friend began to hold gatherings of Hispanics from Arkansas catl, oliC 0V, th( da, C01 dr, fro be frc sel C0 ~a Pa th. 0H th t~ ,I/li),.