Introduction Episode of the Gente Puente Podcast


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Intro Episode: What is Gente Puente?

La versión en español

Summary – English (below) / Spanish

Gente Puente means people who are bridge builders. In other words people who try to break down barriers and unite the Body of Christ – the Church.

This podcast is for you if you are:

  • a Catholic leader in any ministry connected to the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States
  • looking for practical and concrete ideas, strategies and resources that have worked for other ministers just like you
  • don’t want to re-invent the wheel and prefer to collaborate with others
  • want to help build a community that encourages and supports one another

Image of Patti

Patti Gutiérrez interviews Catholic leaders in all levels of ministry in the Church in the United States to bring you Hispanic Ministry Best Practices that you can implement and apply to your own ministry setting.

You can be part of the conversation in our Facebook group!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app! And share it with ministry friends and colleagues!

If you would like to be a guest on the Gente Puente podcast, I would love to interview you! Visit for more information.

Can the Patti’s Catholic Corner team help your ministry in some way? We’d be happy to help! Find out more about our services.

English Summary of Intro Episode:

Hi everyone! Welcome to the Gente Puente podcast!! This is a place for Catholic leaders to hear about Hispanic/Latino Ministry Best Practices from around the United States and to receive encouragement from other ministers who understand all the joys and struggles that come with ministry! We are a community of gente puente – building bridges between God and his people as well as between diverse cultures and languages. If you are new and aren’t sure where to start, this is the place for you! If you have felt that you are building in vain or you’re all alone, this is the place for you! If you sometimes feel like you are reinventing the wheel and you want to collaborate more with others, this is the place for you! If you need new ideas and strategies that really work, this is the place for you! Welcome to the family!

If you want to join the conversation in real-time and get a sneak peek of upcoming episodes, join our private Facebook group! Just search Gente Puente on Facebook, click join and let us know a little about you.

This Intro episode is to give you a little idea of what to expect from future Gente Puente episodes as well as to share a little about myself Patti Gutiérrez and how the podcast got started.

So let’s start with what you will hear on upcoming episodes:

  • I interview Catholic leaders who are connected to the Hispanic/Latino community at all levels – parish and local ministries as well as diocesan, regional and national ministries. My guests are lay people, priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers. And we will cover a wide range of pastoral areas – so you may hear an episode about celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe at a parish or building a diocesan formation program or advocating for immigrant rights in a certain region or building a national vocation ministry for Latinos. We will explore Hispanic ministry from all angles.
  • Through these interviews you will hear great concrete ideas, principles and practical resources that have really worked well. Then you can adapt them to your reality and implement them in your ministry.
  • And most importantly you will hear from other Catholic ministers about their joys and struggles and hear words of encouragement to fuel your own ministry
  • Through the Facebook group you can share ideas or ask questions or request feedback or just share your struggles in real-time with a supportive, encouraging community of Catholic ministry leaders.
  • I can’t wait to share all of this with you each week – so I hope you’ll join me!

That brings me to who am I and why did I start this podcast?

  • I am a bridge builder, or gente puente by nature. If you’re not familiar with the Strengthsfinder tool, I would highly recommend learning about. Some of my top strengths are:
    • Connectedness – so I love helping people see how we’re all connected and what unites us, but another top strength I have is
    • Inidividualization – which means I’m intrigued by the unique qualities of each person, which both tie in with my next strength which is
    • Arranger – I love to figure how all the pieces and resources can be arranged in the best way
    • Add those to my favorite strength called Woo and Communication and is it any wonder that I picked interviewing leaders about Best Practices?
    • I am so excited to connect ministers from around the country who may feel very alone and help them to share their unique talents with the Gente Puente family.
  • You may be wondering why Hispanic/Latino Ministry.
    • Especially if you know that my maiden name is Patricia Murphy – just about the most Irish name you can have; and that I was born in Maine where the other sides of my family are almost all French Canadian.
    • So let me share where it all began: In high school I had the opportunity to travel on a missionary trip to the jungles of Venezuela with my Aunt Dawn and my Uncle Paul, rest his soul; for an entire month! We lived with the local missionaries there who were sharing the Gospel with several of the neighboring indigenous tribes. This is a place you can only get to by a tiny plane landing on a grass runway or by a long boat ride. We even took shorter trips in the plane further into the jungle to visit missionaries in villages that were just starting to learn the language and culture of the indigenous people there. It was incredible. And it awakened in me a love of cultures and languages and wanting to share the Gospel in these far-off places.
    • With that in mind, I graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in aviation with plans to become a missionary pilot. But with all the student loans I had, I knew I couldn’t go off to live in the jungle just yet. I decided to try missionary life for a year as a volunteer in Durán, Ecuador with Rostro de Cristo. Another life-changing experience where I not only learned, but fell in love with Spanish and Latin American culture.
    • After Ecuador, I came back to Western Kentucky where my mom and step-dad and sister were living. This is a period of my life you will hear much more about in later episodes, so I’ll just give you the highlights now. God directed my path in unexpected ways and I was called into lay ministry by the late Bishop John McRaith, in the Diocese of Owensboro where I was Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry for three years then I moved into parish ministry as Pastoral Associate and Parish Life Coordinator in a small, multi-cultural, rural parish. I actually served in that parish for nearly 11 years and by the end of that time the majority of our parishioners came from mountain villages in Guatemala from indigenous cultures and spoke Mayan languages very similar to the people I thought I would be serving as a missionary pilot – but it was right here in Western KY.
    • I have been married for 10 years to Chris Gutiérrez who was ordained a permanent deacon in September 2017 and is currently serving as the Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Owensboro. We have three amazing children, Gabriel, Isaac and Isabel as well as 6 children waiting for us in heaven.
    • I recently made the very difficult decision to leave direct ministry in order to be home more with our growing family on nights and weekends. But God has guided me to find ways I can continue to serve the Church as gente puente from behind the scenes. This podcast is going to be such a fun way to share my experiences in ministry as well as those of my guests!

Let me tell you a little more about the format of the show:

  • This introductory episode will be repeated in Spanish, but the rest of the episodes will be either fully in English or fully in Spanish. You’ll know which language the episode is in, based on the language of the title. For those who are not bilingual there will also be a summary provided in both languages through the show notes of each episode. So you can still get the bulk of the content.
  • All of the resources mentioned in the podcasts will also be available on the show notes pages found at
  • If you would like to be a guest on the Gente Puente podcast, I would love to interview you! None of us are perfect or do everything well, but I am a firm believer that all of us have something we can share from our experience with others. If you’re willing to share, just head over to for more information.
  • Don’t forget to join the Gente Puente Facebook group to be part of our growing family of Catholic leaders sharing their expertise and encouraging one another! It can be found at or simply search Gente Puente on Facebook.
  • And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to the Gente Puente podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss any future episodes!

I pray that this podcast and the Gente Puente family can be a blessing and encouragement for you and your ministry. Please pray for me and this ministry as well.

I pray for the intercession of all the holy men and women in heaven, especially our six children: Rosario, Elijah, Teresa, Clare, Damian and Juan Diego; my Uncle Paul, my step-dad Ron, my step-mom Julie and Bishop McRaith. Please intercede for this ministry and the ministries of all those listening.

And let us close this episode in prayer together. Let us pray.

Lord we are so grateful for all the many blessings you have given us, especially for the gift of serving in your Church. We know we are not perfect and so we thank you for your mercy and for choosing to work through our broken humanity. Lord Jesus you prayed that we would be one as you and the Father are one, pour out your Spirit as we strive to be gente puente, uniting the Body of Christ. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in us the fire of your love. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thank you for listening and I hope you’ll join us next time on the Gente Puente podcast!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my audience. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

35 episodes available. A new episode about every 10 days averaging 42 mins duration .