Bienestar Family Services founder announces retirement

Franciscan Sister Alicia Cuaron, founder and director of Bienestar Family Services of Centro San Juan Diego, the Denver Archdiocese’s center offering pastoral and family care to Spanish-speakers at 2830 Lawrence St. in Denver , announced her retirement in a letter emailed today. The letter is below.


Dear Friends:

I am excited to share with you the next step I have decided to take in my personal journey. Effective June 12, 2014, I will be leaving my position as director of Bienestar Family Services at Centro San Juan Diego of the Archdiocese of Denver. I am very proud of having been the founder and director for the past 10 years.  Bienestar continues to serve as a critical vehicle in providing the Hispanic community with education, leadership and family support services.

I have witnessed the tremendous growth and solid foundation within Bienestar Family Services and the Office of Hispanic Ministry. I am honored to have contributed toward the development of a strong educational institution and establishing higher quality standards for Spanish-speaking immigrants.

Although this is a bittersweet moment for me, I know that this mission will continue through organizations like Centro and individuals like you who are dedicated to the successful integration of Hispanics in this country. I want to express my sincere gratitude for your collaboration with Centro which is critical for the continued success and future of the Hispanic community.

I look forward to a time of spiritual renewal with my religious community of Sisters of Saint Francis. Thank you for a decade of friendship, inspiration and collaboration.


Sister Alicia V. Cuarón O.S.F. Ed.D



COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.

Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash