Expert on Hispanic Catholicism to Speak at UMass Boston

February 22, 2013

Office of Communications


Theology Professor to Offer Lessons From Church’s Approach to Latino Members

As Catholics around the world celebrate Lent, a season of sacrifice and self-evaluation, the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston will host a lecture by Hosffman Ospino, a leading expert on the intersection of Catholicism and Latino culture.

Ospino, assistant professor of theology and education at Boston College, will speak on Thursday, February 28 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Healey Library at UMass Boston. He will discuss how Latinos are reshaping Catholicism in Massachusetts and beyond, and why other social institutions should pay attention.

The Colombia native will explore major transformations in the American Catholic experience with a focus on Massachusetts, where Latinos are rapidly gaining cultural influence. Ospino will discuss how the Catholic Church’s response to Latino parishioners can provide key insights for other social institutions trying to effectively incorporate this crucial community.

Ospino is a co-investigator on CRUZA project, a partnership with the Gastón Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Center that works with Catholic parishes to prevent cancer among Latinos in Massachusetts. He is the first guest in the spring 2013 Speaker Series, cosponsored by The Gastón Institute, the Latino Studies Program, and the Department of Anthropology.

To register for this free lecture, sign up at

About the Gastón Institute
The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy was established 1989 by the Massachusetts Legislature in response to a need for improved understanding of the Latino experience in the commonwealth. The mission of the Gastón Institute is to inform policymakers about issues vital to the state's growing Latino community and to provide information and analysis necessary for effective Latino participation in public policy development.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s nine colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit