Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 with the celebration of various Latin American countries’ day of independence and goes through October 15. This month is dedicated to learning about and celebrating the diversity of the Hispanic heritage found throughout Latin America. A common link between these cultures is a connection to Catholicism, which is the majority religion in several Latin American countries.
To celebrate this month, we want to highlight a few female voices that share their unique perspectives on life as Catholic women. Here are four Latina Catholic women to follow and learn from on social media:
Vanesa Zuleta Goldberg
Vanesa is a wife, expecting mom, writer, and speaker who focuses on liberation theology. She works as a digital content specialist for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and also serves as an intern with the Dicastery of Communications for the Vatican - and she recently got to meet Pope Francis in Rome! Vanesa is passionate about spreading the Gospel message that focuses on serving the marginalized and working for the liberation of all people. She desires to create a place at the table of the Church for everyone so that the Church may be enriched by the diversity that comes with her universality. She also shares vulnerably about her struggles with an eating disorder and works to support and encourage others with similar struggles. To follow Vanesa’s work, you can follow her on Instagram @vanesa_goldberg or on Twitter @vanesa_44.
Leticia Ochoa Adams
Leticia is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and speaker. She lost her oldest son, Anthony, to suicide and has since dedicated her time to keeping his memory alive and speaking about the hard truths of life. She tackles a wide range of issues including racism, poverty, a consistent life ethic, grief, and mental health awareness - and she does so with honesty, boldness, and genuine concern for others. Leticia says that, “because she has lived that day [of Anthony’s suicide] and survived, she is no longer scared of anything except not showing up as her full self.” Leticia is also passionate about opening up more spaces for people of color in the Catholic Church - to that end, she created the Catholic Speakers of Color website as a resource for conference organizers to learn about and contact speakers. For self-reflection and honest looks at hard truths, follow Leticia on Instagram @leticiaoadams, Twitter @LeticiaOAdams, or her website.
Alissa Molina is a wife, mother, catechist, co-host of the Upside Down Podcast, and founder of From Here Sessions. Alissa is passionate about social justice and educating others on the call to love our neighbor. She began From Here Sessions to serve as a space for accompaniment where people can come together to tackle hard topics and ask tough questions - all with the hope of creating community and a welcoming space for people at any point on their faith journey. Alissa also started a written publication, Common Horizons, that brings this approach to learning about Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Each issue explores one theme of CST from different perspectives. Finally, the Upside Down Podcast is an ecumenical podcast that stands at “the intersection of justice, spirituality and culture.” For a welcoming place to learn, question, and discuss, follow Alissa on Instagram @alissarmolina and @from_here_sessions.
Natalie Alfaro Frazier
Natalie is a wife, mom, and California native currently living in Tennessee. She studied global development and public administration, and now serves as nonprofit management and program development consultant. Natalie writes that she is “passionate about the intersection of Catholicism and community-driven social change and radical hospitality.” She writes about and reflects on restorative justice, what real social change can and should look like, and its alignment with the Catholic faith. She reflects honestly on her struggles with reconciling the truth of the Gospel with the lived experience of much of the Church in America, as well as the struggles of being a first generation American, trying to reconcile the dream that her parents had for her in moving here and the ways that politics have determined what those possibilities could be. To follow Natalie’s reflections, you can find her on Instagram @nataliealfarofrazier, on Twitter @nat_alie_af, or on her website.