Peter J. Coulchinsky arrived in the United States to earn a law degree, and as his time in this country increased he decided he wanted to stay. But there was a problem: He only had a student visa.After graduating, however, he eventually got a green card, and then his naturalization and an American passport, a goal for immigrants of many nationalities. Today, the Argentinian global wealth advisor owns his own business: San Antonio-based Texas Legacy Management.Along the way, Coulchinsky — who was raised with strong Catholic values — met Archbishop José Gomez when the latter headed the Archdiocese of San Antonio. When he was invited to join the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders, Coulchinsky was elated, drawn by CALL’s interest in immigrants who, like him, could become productive members of the American society based on solid Catholic values and perspectives.Coulchinsky especially valued Archbishop Gomez’s “passion and commitment to Hispanics, to the undocumented,” which he said reflected a “tangible perspective” of the Church on that issue and many more pertaining to the Latino community.The San Antonio businessman was one of nearly 200 colleagues and clergy attending the Aug. 22-25 CALL conference hosted by the Los Angeles chapter, the largest in the country. Coulchinsky said CALL is committed to “put the Gospel in action at the workplace, and in the political and social arenas. We are committed Catholics.”The need for constant dialogue to accomplish its goals was stressed by Cardinal Francis George in his Aug. 24 presentation, “God in Action,” in which he noted the need to counter the current “endemic anti-Catholicism” in the country.“We cannot be passive,” said the Chicago archbishop. “The Church calls us to be in the forefront of the Church in America.” He suggested that “religion has to be carried by intentional religiosity,” not so much by “popular religiosity.” Cardinal George encouraged his audience to read Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez’s new book, “Immigration and the Next America.” Archbishop Gomez, in turn, echoed his Chicago colleague’s call for CALL members to become even more active in bringing their faith values into public life.“The future of the U.S. depends on what we (Latinos) do, influenced by our faith and by our sanctity,” said Archbishop Gomez during a friendly conversation with a group of local Catholic Spanish media covering the event. “We have to participate in the commercial life of the country, and it is important that we form our conscience and participate in the public square as well.”As he has previously expressed in his homilies, presentations and in his book, the archbishop told reporters that Americans need to constantly be reminded that this country has its roots in the Catholic faith originally brought by Hispanics. “Now is the time,” he stated, “to learn who we are, to decide to stay united and where we want to go.”He said the basis of the new evangelization is to have a “holy pride, to be the best witnesses, leaders of our faith at the workplace, in the public square and at all the places we go.”Archbishop Gomez noted that CALL helped sponsor the Denver-based San Juan Diego Center, which offers support to Latinos who want to establish small businesses.But, he said, to be successful, Latino leaders must be knowledgeable about the Catholic faith, pray and attend, at the very least, Sunday Mass, “where we have a personal encounter with Christ at the moment of the Eucharist. What happens in Mass is very important for marriages, for families.” He also acknowledged the important role of the younger generations in the Church. “They are the present and the future of the Church, the hope of the Church,” said the archbishop, a board member of the National Network of the Pastoral Juvenil.Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix said the annual CALL conference helps its members and the community realize that “we are not alone. When we gather with other people, we grow stronger in our faith.”For more information about the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders, visit or call (213) 637-7400.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0830/callside/{/gallery}