Centro San Juan Diego, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver was established in 2003 by the then Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. (now Archbishop of Philadelphia). Responding to the influx of Hispanic immigrants in Denver, the vision of creating the Hispanic Institute for family and pastoral care the then Auxiliary Bishop of Denver, Most Reverend José H. Gomez (now Archbishop of Los Angeles, California), welcomed and invited the Hispanic community to become faithful and integrated leaders in the Catholic Church and in society:
“We are excited to be opening this long-awaited facility. Centro San Juan Diego will be a unique place combining spiritual, educational and corporal care into one center geared toward strengthening low-income families and assisting them toward self-sufficiency. It will be a leadership home and a place for empowerment.” –Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Historically, the building dates back to 1890 in the former Sacred Heart School located at 2830 Lawrence Street in Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. Restored to its original style and colors, the building is listed in the Colorado State Registry of the Historical Society for its beautiful and distinctive architecture. In its 10-year mark, Centro San Juan Diego and the Office of Hispanic Ministry has served as a place of learning, a place of faith and a place of hope and acceptance to over 30,000 individuals annually!
With every immigration wave, the Catholic Church has been at the front of welcoming and integrating immigrants into the life of the Church and society. Hispanic Catholics make up 66% of the Archdiocese of Denver, the work of the Office of Hispanic Ministry has become essential for the Catholic Church.