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February 9, 2017

A reflection on ‘Iglesia en Salida/Church on a Mission’ by Pedro Rubalcava

Artwork for A reflection on Craig Kingsbury’s ’For the Beauty of the Earth’

This song was written to accompany the V Encuentro or the fifth National Encounter for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, which is an initiative of the U.S. Bishops involving a process of consultation and evangelization. I collaborated on the text with Alejandro Aguilera-Titus from the USCCB’s Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church and Hosffman Ospino, professor of Theology at Boston College in an attempt to capture the essence of the principal theme and sub-themes of the V Encuentro. The themes and therefore the images and ideas in the text of the song flow from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), which is a wonderful and pastoral reflection on our call to the new evangelization.

Pope Francis speaks frequently of a culture of Encounter with the Risen Christ. I think the four verses of the song are able to capture the movements of the encounter that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus had with the risen Christ. We were able to create a Spanish and English version of the song (and of course a bilingual version) to reflect the reality of the participants in the process.


The Encuentro process in the history of the Church in the U.S. and the development of Hispanic/Latino ministry resonates with me in a profound way. I was 14 years old in 1972 when my father invited me to accompany him to a parish gathering to participate in the process of the First Encuentro. I have been involved in some way in all of the Encuentros since and I would like to think that they have had impact on how I understand my response to the call to leadership in the Church.

The main objective of the Encuentro process, with roots in the Encuentros of Latin America, throughout its history has been to discern how the Hispanic/Latino faithful responds to the Church.

I am excited to participate in this process as a member of the national team, as well as the regional team. I know that I will be involved on the diocesan and at the parish level, because I believe in the importance of my prayerful and active participation. I am hopeful that this will be an opportunity for many of us who participate in the processes of the V Encuentro to have a life-changing experience – an encounter with the risen Christ.

May this song be part of the soundtrack that guides our reflection and prayer in our journey on this pilgrimage that is the V Encuentro. For more information visit

Choral Review Service

Pedro Rubalcava’s "Iglesia en Salida/Church on a Mission” is included in the Winter 2017 edition of the OCP Choral Review Service. Every year, subscribers receive sheet music and recordings of more than 70 specially selected choral pieces. Whether it’s new music for your traditional or contemporary choir, settings fit for children’s voices or to inspire intercultural ensembles, OCP has the right choral series to help you unite your community in worship.

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