By Catholic News Service

Churches have a crucial role to play in ensuring that everyone is counted on Census Day 2010, April 1.

That’s the message Alejandro Aguilera-Titus and Beverly Carroll of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat on Cultural spanersity in the Church are delivering as key point people in the USCCB’s partnership effort with the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Historically we know there are three major communities that are difficult to count — the new immigrant, those who are isolated due to little knowledge of English and the low-income,” said Aguilera-Titus, assistant director for Hispanic affairs in the cultural spanersity secretariat, in an interview with Catholic News Service Oct. 27.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Cultural spanersity in the Church, said the statistics gathered in the census can serve much more than governmental purposes.

“The U.S. census is a useful tool for learning about God’s people, who and where they are, and many other facts that shed light on their lives, possibilities and struggles,” the archbishop said in a statement.

“A church that seeks to evangelize is characterized by outreach,” he added. “The U.S. census gives us important information to do that.”