Janna Reynolds, The Catholic Virginian

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has created an Office of Ethnic Ministries, which combines the Hispanic, Asian and Native American ministries in coordination with the Office for Black Catholics, effective Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Sister Inma

Comboni Missionary Sister Inma Cuesta, who had been director of the Office of Hispanic Ministries since 2011, has been appointed as the director of the Office of Ethnic Ministries. Deacon Charles Williams Jr. will continue as interim director of the Office for Black Catholics.  

Sister Inma said the new office will provide better collaboration among the different ethnic ministries in the diocese, foster better interaction between diverse cultures and will respond more effectively to the spiritual needs of those cultures.

“The evangelization process allows us to give different expressions of faith that will contribute to and enrich the trinitarian nature of God in Richmond’s diocesan family,” she said.

According to Sister Inma, the Office of Ethnic Ministries will merge and strengthen administrative resources and serve the pastoral needs of the growing ethnic communities that are part of the Diocese of Richmond. The restructured office will allow the interculturality of the diocese to become more visible and present.

“By working together and sharing resources, the Office of Ethnic Ministries will help to foster a culture of mutual appreciation, enable spiritual encounters where individuals can feel welcomed in their parish communities, and engage entire parish communities as one body with mutual respect and appreciation for our differences and for what brings us together as followers of Christ,” Sister Inma stated in a diocesan press release.

Previous positions have been restructured under the Office of Ethnic Ministries. These include the director of the Office for Black Catholics, an outreach coordinator for Asian Ministry, two associate directors to support Hispanic Ministry and other ministries housed within the office and an administrative assistant.

“This effort will take on a more inclusive and missionary nuance, inviting people to network and become missionary disciples who are ready to serve the peripheries of our communities,” Sister Inma said. “The Gospel comes to life in each culture that makes up our local church and builds a space of encounter where all people can celebrate God’s presence in their lives and communities.”

Further information about the Office of Ethnic Ministries is available by calling 804-359-5661.