Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completo
(ETC – Full-time Catholic Lay Missionaries)
Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completo (or ETCs) serves to fill in the huge gap of shortage of priests to serve the people particularly in remote villages in South and Latin America. Our ETCs or full-time missionaries have carried the Good News of the Gospel to 4,938 communities in Mexico alone. These foot soldiers for Christ traverse rural areas throughout Latin America, assisting parishes and priests, tending to people who are often lost and forgotten. ETCs are critical support, particularly in Mexico, where there is an average of 6,200 Catholics for each Archdiocesan priest, a 30% ratio increase over the past decade due to a decline in vocations.
Explore the work of the ETCs in the tabs below and learn how to give to Catholic missionary work.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20
The Evangelizer’s Mission
Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completo (or ETCs) is a program uniquely designed to assist local priests and bishops in parishes through the selfless and untiring service of lay people serving as full time evangelizers who dedicate themselves completely to tending to the needs of thousands of Catholics throughout the country. For more than 20 years ETCs have worked in all of the Mexican Republic, as well as other countries in South and Latin America developing an important role at the service of evangelization. We currently have 410 evangelizers working in 27 states and 49 Dioceses. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the evangelizers provide: pastoral support, catechist training, liturgical ceremonies and formative programs, assisting the limited number of priests serving a large population in the area. Many times the evangelizer traverses to areas in faraway communities, often at great risk to their personal safety, offering a helping hand to people who are not able to get to a church or be visited by a parish priest. The ETC program allows parish priests to tend to their work closer to home. Without the ETC program many people will not be educated in the faith and be served by the local church simply for lack of priests.
The work of ETCS primarily occurs in three areas:
- Catechesis: teaching the faith
- Human welfare: ensuring basic corporal needs are met to develop the person as a whole, and encourage self-sufficiency
- Liturgical ceremonies: offering the sacraments and life through the divine spirit
The ETCs also help bring basic necessities to those in need, usually in the form of food and medicines. Some of them help in rehabilitation centers giving integral formations for addicted young people and their families. ETCs are usually found serving in areas of extreme poverty.
The Critical Need in Border Cities
Thousands of children are at-risk in the border cities of Mexico, as evangelizers strive to keep the children from running away in search of a better existence. Catholic World Mission recently provided help to Roman Catholic missionaries in Tuxtla and Ciudad Juárez, where children have gravitated in search of food, clothing and medicine. ETC evangelizers are often the only hope these children have, as they struggle between life as they know it- in crime and drug infested neighborhoods- versus a dangerous existence as refugees.
Traveling literally on foot or moped, our ETC evangelizers call on families in forgotten areas, such as the mountainous areas of Veracruz and remote villages in Quintana Roo. Parish priests, already stretched with so many to serve, could not possibly leave their churches long enough to tend to people in these distant villages.
The Evangelizer’s First Priority
Evangelizers present the face of Christ through their deeds. Their first priority is to ensure physical needs are met. Families may need a doctor, food, or a social worker to help with a difficult situation. “We do not leave these families after a day or two as do many other missionaries,” says evangelizer Carlos Davila. “We stay with them and give them hope.”
As these loyal evangelizer will tell you, Christian faith in Mexico and throughout Latin America is undergoing a paradoxical trend. With 3 million people in attendance at World Youth Day in Brazil, and 800,000 papal followers honoring His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI in early 2012, still others are leaving the Catholic Faith in droves.
The Results of Evangelization
Preying on the vulnerable, anti-Catholic sects are leering people here away from their faith. Time is of the essence for our hard-working evangelizers. But they are seeing results. Last year the ETCs visited and brought the gospel to more than 508,555 families. They taught courses on values, catechesis and liturgy to 218,938 parishioners; they prepared 37,381 people to receive the sacraments; 1,689 persons returned to the Catholic faith; 161 vocations were detected and 1,869 marriages were convalidated.
Since its founding in 1992, the ETC program has spread to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Venezuela. The work of these full time evangelizers has spread exponentially. In all, the 35 full-time evangelizers who work in the Archdiocese of León, Diocese of Irapuato, Celaya and Querétaro, serve 46,113 people annually through mission work, sacraments, liturgical celebrations, catechism classes and operation of catechetical centers for children, as well as detecting vocations, helping with human integral formation at the rehabilitation centers. Like the seed that fell on rich soil, “they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” (Luke; 8:15.)
Our courageous ETC missionaries are following in Jesus’ footsteps. Acting out of love they are sacrificing in difficult and dangerous conditions – even willing to lay down their own lives for the sake of saving others. Please, will you help them bring the message of hope to so many in need?
$7,800 funds one full-time missionary for an entire year
$3,900 funds one full-time missionary for half a year
$650 supports a full-time missionary for one month
$325 supports a full-time missionary for half a month
$21 supports a full-time missionary for one day
Chicks for Christ
Thanks to your continued selfless giving, Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completo (ETC) distributed chicks to families in Chiapas and Tabasco! As a part of their outreach program, the ETC lay missionaries will uplift multiple families as they teach them how to tend to these chickens. The chicks are a future source of food and income for these families, which will give them stability and a better quality of life. Along with teaching them how to raise chickens, this gives the missionaries a unique chance to foster relationships with people in these communities and ultimately evangelize to them about the glory of God. ETC is abundantly thankful for your contributions as it is changing the lives of many in Chiapas and Tabasco!
Supporting Lay Missionaries throughout Mexico & Guatemala!
Your generosity has supported more than 150 full-time lay missionaries in Mexico and Guatemala! The Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completo (or ETCs) are made up of faithful lay servants who dedicate themselves completely to tending to the physical and spiritual needs of thousands of Catholics. They often travel to remote communities where priests are lacking, sometimes risking their safety, to provide pastoral support, catechist training, liturgical ceremonies, and formative programs to those in spiritual and material poverty. The ETCs are extremely grateful for your generosity and are praying that you are abundantly blessed for your support!
Hens have arrived! Thanks to your faithful generosity, the families of Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico have new livestock and care supplies to jumpstart their journey of self-sustainability.
Following unexpected flooding and loss, the gift of livestock arrived when these communities needed it most. Now, each family has found hope in a new beginning and brighter future that is brought by a reliable source of food and income.
“Dear brothers, today I am very happy because I received good news. I thank CWM and their benefactors because you sent me 10 hens, a package of food, and vitamins for the hens. This help came to give us hope. Friends of CWM, thank you so much.”– Maria del Rosario Díaz de Dios
Also, thanks to you, our dedicated lay missionaries (ETCs), Andrés and Leonel, are taken care of so they can continue to train families in husbandry and share Gospel of Christ.
Because of your support, we are hopeful that Chiapas and Tabasco will be able to lift themselves out of physical and spiritually poverty and start a new path towards self-sustainability.
Relief from Rising Rivers in Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico
In November of 2020, Storm Eta swelled rivers causing landslides and floods in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco in southern Mexico. On November 5th, Andres Hernandez, a local evangelizer, welcomed 30 displaced people into his home and sheltered them from further harm. 37 people under one small roof! What a beautiful testament to love thy neighbor. CWM partnered with Arch Bishop Fabio Martinez Castillo to send food relief to help feed these 30 refuges and others throughout the seven affected municipalities of Chiapas.
We, the Santa Cruz Community families, thank Catholic World Mission for the support received in this community. God bless your efforts to be in solidarity with us. Thank you so much.
Andres Hernandez, local evangelizer, delivering help.
400 families in 5 communities received needed food thanks to you!
Last winter, the ETCs worked with a local university to give college students the chance to serve the poor. They distributed basic foodstuffs to 400 families/individuals in five (5) communities.
Because you give to Catholic missionary groups like this program through Catholic World Mission, you are making a real and lasting impact for the poorest in the world!
Click through the photos below to see photos from last year’s food distribution in Mexico.
Medical Mission for small towns surrounding the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas sees 4,000 patients
According to CONEVAL, the indigenous people living in the towns of the state of Chiapas face the worst socio-economic conditions of all Mexicans. Their communities have the greatest shortages in all aspects: the poverty and educational lag experienced by these people is far more severe than in any other segment of the population of this country. Many of them do not speak anything other than their native Mayan dialects.
The state of Chiapas is made up of a great diversity of indigenous peoples, most of whom are living in unsanitary conditions, without the resources to get to medical care of any sort. Since 2012, the ETCs have partnered with Educadores Integrales and nurses, doctors, and specialists, as well as Spanish-English and Spanish-Mayan translators, to bring knowledge, care, and medical support to the people living in rural areas of the state of Chiapas. Everyone who comes is treated, regardless of social condition or religious creed.
Take a look at the photos of the most recent medical mission clinics below and consider how you can help Catholic missionaries:
Earthquake devastates Chiapas; your generosity helps rebuild
After an earthquake devastated Chiapas, Mexico, last fall, the ETC missionaries whom you support rushed into action. Two poor widows, Angela and Rosa, each live alone. Both of their homes were destroyed in the earthquake, and both of them were unable to receive aid through other channels. ETC missionary Juan Antonio learned of their stories and jumped to action right away.
Rosa lived in a 2 meter by 2 meter one-room house with corrugated metal roofing. During the hot days, the room was stifling, and was really only inhabitable at night. When her home was destroyed by the earthquake, Rosa had nowhere to go and no hope, until the ETCs told her they would help her rebuild her house.
Angela, another poor widow in Chiapas, also lost her home in the 2017 earthquake. Before her home was rebuilt by the ETC missionaries, she says she used to cry in anguish, not knowing what to do or where help would come from. Since the rebuilding of her house, she says she cries happy tears now.
Juan Antonio and the ETCs were able to support the wider community as well. Many people were afraid to go to work in the days immediately following the earthquake. They were afraid the aftershocks would destroy what was left of their homes, or that desperate bandits would steal their food. Of course, without work, the residents would have no money for food, so it was a vicious cycle for them. Thanks to your generous donations to these Roman Catholic missionaries, Juan Antonio was able to provide food to the poorest residents while they waited for the aftershocks to end.
Thank you for your generous support. You provided food and shelter for many!
Do the Corporal Works of Mercy and Evangelization go hand in hand?
These Lay Missionaries prove it to be so!
“Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve, and show others support during difficult times. Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Evangelizadores de Tiempo Completos (ETCs) answer the call to evangelize in the community, bringing Christ’s Gospel of peace throughout many violent areas in Latin and South America. Jalisco, one of the ETC missionaries, identified grave digging as one of the community’s more essential needs. Burying the dead is a Corporal Work of Mercy asked of us Christians by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew. Miguel López Fletes, another ETC missionary, together with a group of men from the community, prepares graves for families in need since the community cemetery does not have service personnel. The lay missionaries generously lend their services in an effort to spread the Gospel to grieving families.
The Evandelizadores de Tiempo Completo (or ETC) program is made up of some of the most selfless, courageous, and faithful lay missionaries who dedicate themselves completely to serving Catholics in remote areas of extreme poverty. Guided by the Holy Spirit, our ETCs have been hard at work, providing pastoral support, Catechesis, and liturgical ceremonies to those who otherwise would not be educated in the faith and ensuring that basic corporal needs are met. Although their work often comes with risks to personal safety, they passionately choose to follow Christ’s footsteps, practicing selfless servitude.
The ETCs embody our mission of “empowering the poor and sharing the Gospel of Christ.”
This past winter, we were able to provide our courageous ETC missionaries with a deserving “Christmas Bonus” to help fill their cup, so they can continue to wholeheartedly pour into their surrounding communities!
Hidalgo, Michoacán, and Guerrero
I am grateful to God and to CWM benefactors for the Christmas bonus support received in December 2021. At the same time, I pray for you and your families so that God continues to bless you. Thanks to this support, my family was benefited and we could support more people in their needs. Thank you to CWM and its benefactors on behalf of: Jose Ricardo Pérez López
We thank you for the support of the Christmas Bonus that we received in December 2021. The truth is there are no words to express enough thanks. Thank you to CWM and its benefactors in these times of pandemic. Thank you. One thing I promise you, my prayers and works of mercy are offered for you. God multiply you and keep you all in health. Alejandro Macedonio L.
Chiapas and Tabasco
I hereby address you with a cordial greeting, hoping that the peace of our Father God be with you. Likewise, I take the opportunity to thank you for supporting me with the Christmas bonus for me and my family and helping me with this to be able to share a healthy joy with my family and at the same time continue doing my work of evangelization. I also take the opportunity to wish you with all my heart a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022. Uniting through prayer for this evangelization project. I reiterate my sincere thanks.
Fraternally, Andrés Hernández González Full-time lay missionary – Municipality of Tapilula, Chiapas
The Zapata Camacho family is grateful to CWM for having donated the Christmas bonus, whose gesture made us see the greatness of God, who through His instruments that He has chosen approaches the families bringing peace and joy.
May the joy of those foods that we have shared at the table as a family, return to you in great blessings for your personal and family holiness. You are in my prayers, thank you with all my heart.
Sincerely, ETC Ernesto Zapata Alamilla – Villahermosa, Tabasco.
I thank our benefactors for the Christmas bonus I received as support this December 2021 from CWM in this time of pandemic.
Count on my prayers wholeheartedly. May God multiply everything you do for us.
Sincerely, Cirilo Mote Loranca, Full Time Evangelizer.
San Luis Potosí
My name is Leticia Laguna Orta. I am from San Luis Potosí, a full-time evangelizer for 8 years. I currently collaborate in the coordination of Parish Schools of the Diocese. I want to personally express thanks for the bonus I received from CWM. In this time when health is in danger, it is much more difficult for the Diocese to have resources to support the commissions and dimensions. That is why I thank God for having the support of the Evangelizers Program and in December 2021, the support of the Christmas Bonus, which is very helpful for me.
I always ask for all the people who make it possible for me to have a Christmas bonus because it proves to me that there are still people who give and not because they have too much but because they have a simple heart, who, having the Holy Spirit, give of their money with a lot of work they get because they want to share with others what they receive from God. I want you to know that I never forget you in my prayers because I am aware that you will face many challenges to help others.
God manifests Himself always every moment in our lives and in a more palpable way in moments of adversity. He makes Himself present through events, but above all, through people like you. God acts through His heart that is always open to share. Thank you to CWM and its benefactors. Because of your generosity this December, we were able to joyfully share with our family and community, the joy of life and fraternity.
Our prayers and our gratitude for each of you and your families. God bless you today and always. Martin Gonzalez Ortiz ETC