Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matt C. Abbott

5/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Indeed, nearly one-in-four Hispanic adults (24%) are now former Catholics - according to the report.

Hispanics will be challenged to live the Catholic faith for conviction and not remain cultural Catholics. Cultural Catholics will not survive in America. These are the ones who are leaving. Parishes will be challenged in helping Hispanics live the Catholic faith for conviction. Parishes that provide a vibrant and dynamic liturgical life will help Hispanics grow in their personal relationship with Jesus.  Parishes that provide formation and community will be able to help Hispanics remain in the Catholic Church. Priests will need to get out of the office and the rectory and be with the people. Youth ministry is not easy, but it is where we need to be.- Fr. James Farfaglia

Hispanics coming in from Mexico and other Latin American countries have to remain firm in their Catholic faith. America is still a great land of opportunity, but this is not Disney Land. It is important that Latinos do not become apostate, sacrificing their Catholic faith on the altar of materialism. The Hispanic culture is a beautiful one, and it is rooted in Catholicism. They should be proud of their faith and their culture. - Fr James Farfaglia

Hispanics coming in from Mexico and other Latin American countries have to remain firm in their Catholic faith. America is still a great land of opportunity, but this is not Disney Land. It is important that Latinos do not become apostate, sacrificing their Catholic faith on the altar of materialism. The Hispanic culture is a beautiful one, and it is rooted in Catholicism. They should be proud of their faith and their culture. - Fr James Farfaglia

Highlights

By Matt C. Abbott

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: hispanic, latino, Catholics, evangelicals, charismatic, pentecostal, renewal, Fr. James Farfaglia, Father Angel Sotelo, Matt C. Abbott


CHICAGO,IL (Catholic Online) - A nationwide survey of adult Latinos conducted by the Pew Research Center has found that while the majority still identify themselves as Catholic, a significant number have been leaving the Church.

"Indeed, nearly one-in-four Hispanic adults (24%) are now former Catholics," according to the report.

"The long-term decline in the share of Catholics among Hispanics may partly reflect religious changes underway in Latin America, where evangelical churches have been gaining adherents and the share of those with no religious affiliation has been slowly rising in a region that historically has been overwhelmingly Catholic. But it also reflects religious changes taking place in the U.S., where Catholicism has had a net loss of adherents through religious switching (or conversion) and the share of the religiously unaffiliated has been growing rapidly in the general public."

(Click here to read the report in its entirety.)

I asked Father Angel Sotelo, pastor of St. Columba Catholic Church in the Diocese of Fresno, Calif., and Father James Farfaglia, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, to comment on the survey's findings.

Father Sotelo wrote:

The reasons that people from Mexico, Central America, and South America would leave the Catholic Church are as complicated and diverse as the Hispanic demographic. There is simply no 'one size fits all.' However, generally speaking, I would offer the idea that Catholic priests have to be constantly worried about the attention they give to their parishioners - of whatever language and culture.

Wearing beautiful vestments and offering the traditional liturgy is useless if a priest tells people 'I don't speak your language; I'm an American and you need to learn English.' Yes, that attitude is still around. Or, some people say, 'Priests need to teach from the Baltimore Catechism.' But that is also useless if you don't visit with families, have personal contact with them, and explain what you want to accomplish in catechizing their kids.

Priests wonder why some families are angry that their kids were denied First Communion or Confirmation? It's because parishes have 'programs' and hoops to jump through, but not necessarily a sense of care and concern for the individual youth.

It was not just the lace, brocade, cassocks, Latin, or preaching about mortal sin and hell that kept Catholics in the Church, according to the priests I knew ordained in the 1940s, '30s and '20s. It was their habit of making rounds in the parish, knowing their people, and communicating a sense of urgency to uphold marriage, family, and transmitting the Catholic Faith.

Now, I see and hear priests complaining about their 'illegal immigrants' and 'mumbo-jumbo Hispanic charismatics' and I am amazed - not at the number of their Hispanic parishioners who leave the Catholic Church, but that any are staying at all.

To be fair, Catholic priests have become more and more alert to the problems of Catholic defection in all the races and cultures. I am impressed with the sense of evangelism and mission in some of the younger priests.

But there is still too much of an 'I don't do windows' attitude among some priests in regards to 'smelling like the sheep' and mixing it up with their Hispanic people. As one priest put it, 'I told those people that if their collection didn't go up, I would cancel that Spanish Mass. Well, it didn't, so I canceled it.'

That attitude is laughable and is not the true Catholic spirit of the apostolate.


Father Farfaglia, who lived and worked in Mexico for six years and has visited other Latin American countries, wrote:

Solution #1 - Just as priests were required to know Latin prior to the Second Vatican Council, priests in the U.S. should be required to speak enough Spanish to be able to offer Mass in Spanish and give a coherent homily in Spanish.  I am not the brightest bulb in the box. If I can learn to speak Spanish, anyone can. Immersion is a good way for a seminarian or a priest to learn Spanish. Go down to Mexico for at least a year and don't come home until you can speak Spanish. Laziness has to be replaced by apostolic zeal. 

Solution #2 - Hispanics coming in from Mexico and other Latin American countries have to remain firm in their Catholic faith. America is still a great land of opportunity, but this is not Disney Land. It is important that Latinos do not become apostate, sacrificing their Catholic faith on the altar of materialism. The Hispanic culture is a beautiful one, and it is rooted in Catholicism. They should be proud of their faith and their culture.

Hispanics will be challenged to live the Catholic faith for conviction and not remain cultural Catholics. Cultural Catholics will not survive in America. These are the ones who are leaving. Parishes will be challenged in helping Hispanics live the Catholic faith for conviction. Parishes that provide a vibrant and dynamic liturgical life will help Hispanics grow in their personal relationship with Jesus.  Parishes that provide formation and community will be able to help Hispanics remain in the Catholic Church. Priests will need to get out of the office and the rectory and be with the people. Youth ministry is not easy, but it is where we need to be.


-----
Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Baltimore bloodshed continues with unbelievable violence over the holiday weekend Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading


BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


The mystery behind brains discovered in the streets of St. Lawrence County Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter