The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus Encounter is now available in Spanish, and the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute is ready to ship Spanish Facilitator Kits. The kits include:

  • A PowerPoint presentation with imbedded videos;
  • A Facilitator’s Guide; and
  • A copy of the Participant’s Workbook.

“It’s everything a Facilitator needs to present the Encounter in Spanish,” says Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute.

Dream comes true

In the 1990s, Dr. Phelps, author of The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus book and workbook, was Director of Communications & Publications for the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. On behalf of the office he offered a short program on Christian leadership based on Jesus’ teaching and example in the Gospels.

There was a time for questions immediately after his presentation, and the very first question was: “Do you have this in Spanish?” Owen’s answer, “Unfortunately, no.” Although he took two years of Spanish in school, he knew that such a project was well beyond his Spanish literacy skills.

But he did welcome assistance translating the program so it could be presented in Spanish. Regrettably, no one came forward to do the work.

When The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus book and workbook were published in 2009, people once again asked if there was a Spanish version of the program. “Since 2009, we’ve had several false starts trying to develop a Spanish version,” Owen explains. “It turned out to be a daunting task, and we weren’t able to make any significant progress as the years rolled by.”

Then, two years ago Owen noticed that the signature of a student in the Rockford Diocese’s Ministry Formation Program said she was a “Certified Spanish-English translator.” He decided to reach out to her with his hope.

Gift of God

Today Owen calls that student, Mariana Maloney, “a gift from God.” It turned out that Mariana is a native of Buenos Aires, and worked there as a translator for the U.S. State Department. She was busy, but she agreed to do the translation.

“Today we wouldn’t be announcing the availability of a Spanish version of the Encounter if it were not for the incredibly conscientious work by Mariana,” Phelps explained.

In order to offer the Encounter in Spanish, she had to translate three things – the Participant Workbook, the Facilitator’s Guide and the PowerPoint presentation. In each case, references to page numbers in the workbook had to be coordinated across all three products.

The Yeshua Institute is offering the Spanish Facilitator’s Kit, which includes all three products, to Spanish-speaking Catholics who have participated in the English-language Encounter.

“It’s been our practice to require that anyone who facilitates our Encounters has to participate in an Encounter first, so at this point we’re trying to locate everyone who has participated in an earlier Encounter and tell them the Spanish version is finally available if they would like to facilitate its presentation,” Owen explained.

Plans call for the Yeshua Institute to schedule Spanish Encounters followed by Facilitator Training to expand the number of people who are certified to offer Encounters in Spanish. “We’re still working on the details of scheduling those programs,” Owen explains.

For more information about the kits and the Spanish Encounter, write to Owen at




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