Carmen M. Nanko-Fernández, a self-described Hurban@́ (Hispanic and urban) theologian, is Professor of Hispanic Theology and Ministry and the director of the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Her scholarship focuses on Latin@́ theologies, Catholic social teaching, interreligious, ecumenical and intercultural relations, im/migration, sport and theology, and the intersections between faith and popular culture with particular attention to béisbol/baseball. Nanko-Fernández has presented in a variety of academic and pastoral venues including a conference at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Her publications include the book Theologizing en Espanglish (Orbis) and she is currently completing ¿El Santo? Baseball and the Canonization of Roberto Clemente, which is under contract with the Sport and Religion series of Mercer University Press. A past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS), she received their Virgilio Elizondo Award for “distinguished achievement in theology” in 2012.
For Pope Francis, mercy is not a noun, it's verb. To locate God-talk in the messiness of nuestras vidas cotidianas, to articulate it in the complicated hybrid languages of street and home, to mercify in ever expansive borderlands is the business of theology.
When the Boston Red Sox visited the White House last week, a majority of black and Latino players refused to attend as an act of resistance. The resulting optics of an overwhelmingly white team only amplified baseball's history of racism and exploitation of migrant labor.
As our border crisis swirls out of control, where are our Romeros? The inability of U.S. Catholic Church leadership to function as a prophetic voice in this time of national scandal is rooted, in part, in an enduring failure to address abuse within "our own house."
When it comes to competencies, pastoral preparation and theological education for ministry in Latin@ contexts, too often rich and complex worlds of meaning are overlooked or ignored, and important ways of being Latin@ are reduced to decorative accent pieces.