LEWISTON — Catholic churches in Lewiston, Portland, Waterville and Bangor will begin offering Masses in Spanish this weekend for a growing Hispanic population.

Maine Bishop Robert Deeley and representatives from the Hispanic Ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland met in September 2018 in Grapevine, Texas, with other Hispanic Ministry leaders and clergy from around the country about how the Catholic Church “can better respond” to the Hispanic community, Maine diocese Dave Guthro said.

The meeting was part of a four-year process of reflection and action called V Encuentro, Spanish for “gathering.” Churches across the country consulted with their parishioners about ways the Catholic Church could be more inviting to a Hispanic community that was growing every year.

The Hispanic population in Maine is estimated at more than 20,000, Guthro said.

“For nearly two years, members of the diocese’s Hispanic Ministry team have been seeking out members of the Hispanic/Latino community in neighborhoods across the state to learn, welcome and invite,” Guthro said. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The Masses will be offered at:

• The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 122 Ash St. in Lewiston on Saturdays at 6 p.m;

• Sacred Heart Church, 65 Mellen St. in Portland on Sundays at 12:30 p.m;

• St. John Church at 217 York St. in Bangor, the first and third Sundays of each month at 1 p.m; and

• Notre Dame Church at 116 Silver St. in Waterville, the second and fourth Sundays of each month at 12:15 p.m.

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