July 25, 2012
Maria-Cruz Gray: Diocese of Salt Lake City, UT
In her capacity as Director of the Diocese of Salt Lake City Hispanic Ministries Office, Maria-Cruz Gray serves the local church in the most remote mission areas in Utah, an area encompassing 85,000 square miles. She works tirelessly during the week, as well as devoting numerous evenings and weekend to travel and visit those who cannot afford to travel for formation and catechesis.
In the past several years, Maria-Cruz has spearheaded several very significant programs which are illustrative of her service to the church. In September 2010, together with the Congar Institute, she began the lay Ecclesial Ministry program in Spanish to form ecclesial leaders who could serve the Hispanic community. In 2011, Maria-Cruz worked with the Mexican American Cultural Center and the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network to visit several rural missions to offer leadership formation to farm workers in rural Utah missions to respond to the needs of the Hispanics in a multicultural and predominantly Mormon environment. In 2012 Maria-Cruz supported the Catholic Relief Services program “Comercio Justo” by inviting Catholics from around the diocese to learn about this program that aids farmers, laborers, and artisans from countries around the globe to receive just and fair payment for their products.
Maria-Cruz’s indefatigable spirit, vision, and good works have and continue to benefit the Diocese of Salt Lake City as a whole, and in particular, the Hispanic Catholic of Utah who comprise approximately 80 percent of Utah Catholics.
In her years of service, Maria-Cruz Gray has made countless contributions to the Hispanic-Catholic community in Utah. Her many ministries are thriving throughout the Diocese of Salt Lake City Utah, extending the presence of Christ.
Comments from Salt Lake City Diocesan Staff:
“Maria-Cruz’s energy, vision, dedication, and love of the people have been essential in the formation, education, and ‘integration’ of our Hispanic Catholics.”
“Maria-Cruz never hesitates to travel to our most far-flung mission areas in rural Utah where she conducts pastoral programs to minister to Hispanic Catholics in a manner which promotes those elements of their culture consistent with Catholic faith.”