Instituto Fe y Vida equips pastoral ministers, young adult leaders, and parents for the New Evangelization of young Latino people across the United States. We do this by focusing on their personal development and faith formation, and by preparing young Catholics for leadership in Church and society.
In the late 1980s, Saint Mary’s Press (SMP), a ministry of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest District, recognized both the challenge and the opportunity presented by the large number of young Latino men and women who had immigrated to the United States. As a result, SMP started a Hispanic publications project and mentored a talented group of Latino pastoral professionals to produce bilingual resources for ministry with young Hispanics.
Recognizing the significant pastoral needs of Latino adolescents and young adults, led to the founding of Instituto Fe y Vida (Fe y Vida) in 1994 as a separate 501(c)(3) organization, based in Stockton, CA. Then the institute’s main goal was to offer leadership formation programs to help dioceses and parishes improve and expand their pastoral ministry to young Hispanic immigrants, encourage them to live their faith by bringing the Word of Jesus to other young people in their own communities, and keep their Catholic tradition alive.
Over the last two decades, Fe y Vida has become the leader in ministry for Latino jóvenes—adolescents and young adults. While at Saint Mary’s Press, Fe y Vida’s staff published a series of books that provided the foundation for Hispanic youth and young adult ministry (pastoral juvenil). An Annual Summer Program that began with a leadership formation symposium in 1995, currently offers five alternative programs and gathers as many as 200 young adult leaders and ministers from nearly 40 dioceses.
In May 2015, Fe y Vida affiliated with Lewis University and opened an office in the St. Charles Borromeo Center at the Romeoville Campus. The relationship is grounded on a common sense of mission, and a common desire to engage adolescents and young adults in Christian formation programs that develop their leadership potential in holistic, ethical, and socially responsible ways.
This is a time for the ministry of Fe y Vida to grow. The affiliation with Lewis University provides a widely respected platform to expand its pastoral initiatives and formation programs; such as partnering with Lewis University’s Theology Department for the Engaging Stories Institute: An Intensive Journey of Faith, Life & Action! which is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative beginning in June 2017.
Throughout the years, Fe y Vida has attracted renowned supporters, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairs a twelve-member Bishops Advisory Council. Hundreds of Volunteers support Fe y Vida’s work and programs. Carlos Sevilla, SJ, Bishop Emeritus of Yakima, WA, served as Board Chairman for over 10 years. Cardinals Theodore McCarrick, Séan O’Malley, and late Cardinal George have chaired Fe y Vida’s Development Program.
Several organizations and individuals have supported Fe y Vida’s mission through grants and substantial donations including: Saint Mary’s Press, De LaSalle Christian Brothers of the Midwest, the Knights of Columbus, the Koch Foundation, Lasallian Education Fund, Lilly Endowment Inc., and the Raskob Foundation, to name a few.
Fe y Vida depends on the generous support of individual donors and organizations who share a concern for the vitality of the Catholic Church in the U.S.; who understand the importance of cultivating pastoral ministers to continue the mission of the Church, and who wish to contribute to the formation of young adult leaders and parents, for the New Evangelization Young Latino Catholics. To send your gift visit feyvida.org.
A forty-plus Pastoral Team teaches courses and programs in dioceses and parishes all over the country and across Latin America. Fe y Vida is recognized for its proven capacity to design programs and produce publications for Catholic Latino youth and young adult ministry. Fe y Vida collaborates with several national institutions to multiply its impact, while leveraging its experience and expertise to better address the pastoral needs of this burgeoning segment of the Church.