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The Shared ParishLatinos, Anglos, and the Future of U.S. Catholicism$
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Brett C. Hoover

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479854394

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479854394.001.0001

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Being Apart Together

Being Apart Together

Sharing the Shared Parish

(p.103) 3 Being Apart Together
The Shared Parish

Brett C. Hoover

NYU Press

This chapter explores the specific issue of intercultural relations at All Saints, including a sociological analysis of different constructions of parish unity. It looks at the perspectives and practices that arose in the encounter between the two cultural groups—Euro-American and Latino parishioners— an ongoing encounter that included both avoidance and embrace, appreciation and resentment, assertion and resistance, cross-cultural insight and painful culture clash. The two distinct cultural communities reacted and made sense of this ongoing encounter in markedly different ways. In general, Euro-American parishioners tried to make sense of the experience of sharing through a discourse of unity. This talk about unity, however, had only a thin relationship to any practical forging of cross-cultural bonds. As the longtime resident group, Euro-Americans generally engaged the Latino community on their own terms—in English and through the local structures of work and commerce they were long accustomed to. The Latino community, however, had to engage Euro-Americans mostly within the Euro-American world—at work, in stores, through nonprofit and government agencies. Feeling themselves at a disadvantage in a land unfamiliar to them, they made sense of the sharing of their town and parish in more cautious, even defensive terms. Yet even as these two communities looked at the sharing differently, they had to engage in the actual intercultural negotiations that concretized their sharing of the parish.

Keywords:   shared parishes, Euro-American parishioners, Latino parishioners, intercultural relations, parish unity

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