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Crossing the Water and Keeping the FaithHaitian Religion in Miami$
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Terry Rey and Alex Stepick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814777084

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814777084.001.0001

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Immigrant Faith and Class Distinctions

Immigrant Faith and Class Distinctions

Haitian Catholics beyond Little Haiti

(p.59) 2 Immigrant Faith and Class Distinctions
Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith

Terry Rey

Alex Stepick

Archbishop Thomas Wenski

NYU Press

This chapter considers some of the increasingly diverse, both economically and spiritually, forms that Haitian Catholic lives are taking in Miami. There is a growing number of Haitians in South Florida who have either moved up and out of the poverty of Little Haiti, or who migrated to the United States without the trademark struggles of Haitian refugees. Some of them are lighter-skinned members of the Haitian bourgeoisie who have little or nothing to do with Little Haiti, partly due to longstanding class antagonisms in Haitian society and culture. They generally do religion differently, though many still believe in unseen supernatural forces to whom they turn in the quest for healing, luck (chans), and magic (maji), and for protection against “persecutory” forms of evil. The chapter looks at their participation in sacramental rites and in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a Pentecostal movement that has radically transformed the Catholic Church in Haiti.

Keywords:   Haitian bourgeoisie, Little Haiti, Haitian culture, Haitian luck, Haitian magic, Catholic Charismatic Renewal

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