Retiring Hispanic affairs official has spent 35 years in church work
Published: July 2, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When Ronaldo Cruz first began working for the church, he thought of himself as a Chicano activist. He was involved with the farmworker and sanctuary movements and was running a social services agency that primarily served Mexican-Americans in Tucson, Ariz. "I thought I was going to become the next Che Guevara," the revolutionary, he joked about his younger self. He never expected those interests and his lifelong involvement as a Catholic would lead to a 35-year career in the church -- a combination of ministry and work which is ending at least temporarily as he leaves his job of 16 years as executive director of Hispanic affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was assistant director for several years before that. In an interview with Catholic News Service shortly before he took early retirement offered as part of a USCCB reorganization, Cruz described the path that brought him from a Tucson barrio to running a national office for Hispanic ministry, including such highlights as representing the U.S. church as one of the few laymen to participate in the 1997 Synod of Bishops for America.
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