Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

Catholics comprise the largest religious group in the United States, encompassing nearly a fourth of all U.S. residents. Hispanics constitute more than a third of U.S. Catholics. They are the reason why Catholicism is holding its own relative to other religions in the United States. According to researchers of the American Religious Identification Survey, without the ever-growing number...

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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1 Remapping American Catholicism

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pp. 1-41

Father José Antonio Díaz de León, the last Franciscan priest serving in Texas when it was still part of Mexico, died mysteriously in 1834 near the east Texas town of Nacogdoches. A judge exonerated an Anglo-American accused of murdering Díaz de León amid rumors that the priest’s death of a gunshot wound was a suicide. Mexican Catholics...

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2 Integration

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pp. 42-66

Immigrant clergy can border on the hagiographic when they exalt the influence of Catholicism in their native land. One priest lauded his compatriots’ “simple yet strong piety and trust in God,” the influence of a Catholic ethos in everyday life, and the “deep religious feeling [and] love for the Madonna,” which “alone would be proof of...

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3 Hispanic Ministry

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pp. 67-97

An overwhelming majority of the U.S. Catholic bishops voted to restructure their national operations at their annual fall meeting in 2006. With its central office in Washington, D.C., the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is constituted of the bishops as members and at present a staff of more than 350 laity, clergy, and members of religious...

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4 Parishes and Apostolic Movements

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pp. 98-131

Four years after Fidel Castro’s 1959 rise to power in Cuba, Father Emilio Vallina and other Cuban exiles established the San Juan Bosco congregation at an abandoned car dealership in the Little Havana district of Miami. Vallina left Cuba when “Castro began persecuting the Church” and incited “mobs [who] came into the churches and...

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5 Leadership

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pp. 132-161

More than a thousand devotees packed the backyard of Marian visionary Estela Ruiz in South Phoenix on the night of December 5, 1998. Ruiz had reportedly received some 277 public messages from Our Lady of the Americas over the previous decade. Several months earlier a vision had informed her that December...

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6 Worship and Devotion

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pp. 162-189

Alvaro Dávila was surprised at his fellow parishioners, but more surprised at himself. Leaders at his parish, Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy) in Chicago, had invited worshipers to wear the typical dress of their native countries to Sunday Mass. Back home in Guatemala, Dávila had been ashamed of the indigenous part of...

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7 Public Catholicism

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pp. 190-218

Deacon Carlos Valdéz was angry. Gang member intimidation of seventh and eighth graders on the school playground of his parish, Ascension Catholic Church on the north side of Minneapolis, was so intense that the school principal had begun to patrol the schoolyard with a baseball bat. Frustrated at the lack of police response to...

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8 Passing on the Faith

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pp. 219-244

Students in the theology classes I have offered in San Antonio; Los Angeles; and South Bend, Indiana, have taught me much about young Hispanics’ aspirations and struggles for faith and identity. One young woman sent me an email that included the following comments: I had a few thoughts about some of the topics we discussed in class...

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Epilogue: Transformation in America’s Largest Church

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pp. 245-250

Latinos present a distinct agenda of core concerns within U.S. Catholicism. In the half century since the Second Vatican Council, many Euro-American Catholics have emphasized concerns such as liturgical reform, the role of the laity, dissent or obedience to sexual ethics and other church teaching, the proper exercise of authority, and the...

Notes

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pp. 251-272

Bibliography

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pp. 273-302

Index

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pp. 303-312