As Latino immigration becomes more diversified, Catholic parishes are experiencing competition and new borrowing between different Hispanic and other ethnic traditions.
The New York Times (May 27) reports that the large Mexican immigration in New York in recent years has particularly brought new devotional practices, such as veneration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to many parishes, creating turf skirmishes over sacred space. Parishes may hold special Masses for Guadalupe as well as celebrations for the Puerto Rican Virgins of Providence and the Filipino Baby Jesus. Along with the new rivalry, these changes are increasing borrowing and crossing of lines between the different traditions.
The current Religion & Ethics Newsweekly viewer’s guide, a publication of the TV program of the same name, reports that nationwide Latinos other than from Mexicans have gained an appreciation for Guadalupe and other apparitions and titles for “Our Lady.” The celebration of Guadalupe in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has been expanded to honor diverse Marian devotions.
Timothy Matovina of Notre Dame concludes that “Interest in each other’s feasts is a growth area for Latino Catholics and a challenge for the future.”
(Religion & Ethics Newsweekly‘s website is: http://www.pbs.org/religion)