Bishop Malloy Reflects on the Diocese’s Active Hispanic Culture
By Margarita Mendoza, Editor El Observador
May 12, 2022
Bishop Malloy came to the Diocese of Rockford after many years of international ministry experience representing the Vatican at the United Nations and in countries like Pakistan and Syria. He was fluent in Spanish and could communicate well in several other languages.
Those experiences prepared him well for work in the Diocese of Rockford where there is a large and fast growing Hispanic population as well as vibrant Polish and Filipino Catholic communities, among other ethnicities and races that call the diocese home. Bishop Malloy has participated often in cultural devotions and celebrations. 
To mark his anniversary, El Observador editor Margarita Mendoza asked Bishop Malloy specifically about his ministry to the Hispanic community, which currently represents almost half the Catholic population of the Rockford Diocese. This is what he had to say.
QWe pray to the same God in two different languages; besides the language, what is the biggest difference you see among the two communities of faith (Anglo and Hispanic), and how can we complement each other to grow into the faith?
A I have lived a number of my years in the priesthood outside of the United States. That has often meant attending or even offering Mass at times in the context of a different culture and in a different language than my native heritage. 
Those experiences showed me that there can be different expressions of the emotions of piety, sometimes greater enthusiasm externally, sometimes a more quiet and reserved expression of faith. But what is impressive is the unity of our Catholic faith that I have seen in different cultures, especially through the sacraments.
Those same nuances of culture can be experienced in the celebrations of the Anglo and Hispanic communities. But when a Mass or a celebration is bi-lingual or multicultural, what impresses me is the unity of faith and the joy that both communities seem to experience. We truly are one Church.
QHow were you received by the Hispanic community and is it any different today?
A I well recall the loud applause that came from the Hispanic faithful when I spoke a few words in Spanish at my consecration 10 years ago. It was a joyful welcome and an expression on my part of my hope to be available to visit and pray with the Hispanic community. Over the last decade I can say that I have always felt well received as bishop whenever I celebrate the sacraments or pray with 
the Hispanic faithful. And I hope they have felt my desire as bishop to be with them often.
QWhat have you learned from the Hispanic community during these years?
A I have learned how faithful they are to their heritage and especially to the faith of their Hispanic roots. I have been edified by the devotion to and celebrations for Our Lady of Guadalupe who is, as Pope St. John Paul II said, the mother of the Americas. Both the Hispanic and the Anglo communities turn out in large numbers for the live Stations of the Cross in Aurora each Good Friday. I have also learned to have a great appreciation for the special love that the Hispanic faithful have for their families and their desire to come to Mass and to their parishes together.
QWhat have been the biggest challenges for you during these 10 years as a bishop? What has been your biggest satisfaction during your service?
A One of the biggest challenges is to encourage more vocations to the priesthood and religious life from the Hispanic community. The number of Hispanics is large and growing. I hope over the next 10 years we will see the fruit of prayer and sacrifice with more young men of Hispanic heritage presenting themselves for discernment for the priesthood.
Another challenge is to get more of the faithful to come to Sunday Mass. This is a challenge everywhere and among all groups. But coming to Mass each Sunday is a sign of health and strength for all of us.
Finally, we need to find ways to get more of our Hispanic young people in our Catholic schools. There are many reasons that families give for not sending their children to Catholic schools. But the teaching and learning of the faith on a daily basis is a great sign of the evangelization that we carry out as a Church.
My greatest satisfaction is simply the knowledge that the local Church, that is the Diocese of Rockford, is working to be faithful to Jesus Christ and to the Catholic faith that has been entrusted to us. We can be confident that God will give us the help we need in our time and in our circumstances.
QAs a leader of the Diocese of Rockford what stands out about about the lay ministries in the Hispanic community? 
A I am always impressed when I come to a parish for a Mass or confirmation with the Hispanic community that there are so many faithful lay people who are helping to organize and assist others on that day. I always find people who are offering themselves for various services do so with a pleasant smile and joy that is welcoming and proud of our Catholic faith.
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