Developing Hispanic Leadership – Sister Dominga Zapata has always had a strong interest in motivating the Hispanic generation to consider specific ways of living their baptism call, such as single, marriage, priesthood, consecrated life, public servants, and others. Sr. Dominga has always felt called to this work, so much that she was one of the founding members of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM). She was part of the developing leadership within the Council. For the past 30 years, Sr. Dominga was the representative for the Society of Helpers in this Council with other Helper’s friends. With all the work that she does, she continues to lead young adults within the Hispanic Community to contribute in their own way to the Catholic Church. She wants to give more young adults their own leadership roles, whether that’s for the NCCHM or their own communities or movements.
Sr. Dominga’s favorite part of her Ministry is that she ministers with young adults who become her family and faith community. Being a leader in different organizations, Sr. Dominga has seen some of her community members at very low points of their lives. Without hesitation, she reaches her hand out to help those who are in need of it, especially young women. Sr. Dominga says it is a necessity to, “…nourish the leadership that we have because we believe in their potential, even after they have difficult experiences – knowing they are still capable and will make a difference”. This ministerial work is Sr. Dominga’s example of Mary of Providence’s spirit: “We serve in all manner of good”. She feels called to say that this is where she is supposed to be in life, encouraged to help the Hispanic Community and others in need of support. For many years, she has been serving Hispanics throughout different parts of the US, through workshops, conferences, and retreats. Sr. Dominga’s life commitment is to accompany the development of leadership. This is how she can manifest the core values of the Society of Helpers and share them with those she serves and come in contact with.
After 56 years of being a Helper, she continues, supported by the Helpers, to be part of those in need. She feels that every day she is constantly changing but her vows to serve God’s People remain the same. She desires that everyone she meets may fulfill their baptism call as planned by God for each. At this moment, Sr. Dominga is working on a Manual on the Cultural of Vocation to be published by NCCHM in 2022. This will be shared with a broader leadership audience to help in the understanding of the baptismal call beyond priesthood and consecrated life.