Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matt C. Abbott

5/13/2014 (2 months 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 (2 months 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... 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, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... 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