Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, a native of El Paso, Texas is currently the pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in that diocese. Formerly he served as pastor of St. Pius X, which was identified as an outstanding parish in the national survey by Paul Wilkes in Excellent Catholic Parishes (Paulist Press, 2000). After earning his doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome, in 1988 he was the founding director of the Tepeyac Institute, a diocesan ministry formation center. The Institute is one of the largest in the nation training laity for parish ministry, and is distinctive with its formation shaped by the reality of the border. Bañuelas has been widely recognized and honored for his advocacy on behalf of farmworkers, immigrants and for his work on issues of life and justice at the border. He is a popular speaker and teacher who addresses topics of theology, faith and politics with various civic, academic, religious, pastoral and health organizations.  Bañuelas has founded a number of initiatives in theology, ministry and border activism over the past forty years. He was a co-founder of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and most recently established the Hope Border Institute, which focuses on justice issues in the three border dioceses of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico.

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We breathe together

Theology en la Plaza: We write because the confluence of twin epidemics, COVID-19 and the ongoing plague of racism, place vulnerable communities at particular risk. Escribimos porque as Latin@s our communities are formed and shaped both by the richness of African diasporic roots and people as well as by anti-blackness that for too long remains under addressed en nuestra casa.


The Advent posada is an act of resistance

In Advent all along both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border, families celebrate the popular posadas tradition where families and friends reenact Joseph and Mary's search for and denial of shelter. This same pattern of rejection is being lived by the over 55,000 refugees and asylum seekers who are literally knocking at our nation's door.


Hate is not welcome aquí

Theology en la Plaza: We write en conjunto, united in prophetic rage and graced by the resilience of nuestra gente, paying critical attention to the role of the incendiary language that fueled the latest destructive incarnation of hate in El Paso.


In memory of Jakelin and Felipe, we must have justice at the border

Theology en la Plaza: This past month, I had the opportunity to visit with the families of two Guatemalan children who died while in custody of U.S. border control.