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My oldest son Alejandro received his 1st Eucharist on May 12th! It was a day we were all looking forward to, especially because we had attended his cousin’s 1st Communion the Saturday before, and his other cousin’s the Saturday before that!  The next day, Sunday, he told his cousin   that he was excited for two reasons: he was going to receive Communion again, and we were going to watch Spider-Man 3.  Sure enough he did both.  My wife and I have now reached a new stage of our family faith life, now that one of our children has reached this milestone (I mean going to communion, not Spider-Man 3)  However, I was able to deliver a little religious instruction during the movie!  There was a scene where Spider-Man traveled to a Church steeple where he ended up fighting the alien that had taken over his suit.  At the same time a guy who hated Peter Parker arrived at the same Church and prayed in this way, “God I come to you in all humility and beg you to listen to my request…KILL PETER PARKER!”.  Well Peter Parker’s fight with the alien suit seemed like a good metaphor for how we fight sin in our lives and how coming to Church helps us win this battle.  The guy’s sorry excuse for a prayer, shows us how evil can enter into our lives because as soon as the alien left Peter Parker (thanks to the ringing of the bells) it ended up on the guy, who became the evil “Venom”. Adán Medrano would be proud of me! Adán heads a company in Houston that is interested in the topic of media and spirituality. His big thing is that instead of the Church trying to create opportunities to bring the faith to people, it should take advantage of the faith and spirituality that is already present and acknowledge and celebrate it.  For many people waiting in line for a movie is a religious experience, so for my son I just drew out a truth about my faith that was already there. Thanks for the tip Adán!

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Here is a nice quote about Latino Catholicism:

“…most Latin[o]s have a deeply ingrained faith in God. They see and feel Him in the midst of their poverty, and in their pressing needs they turn to Him with a fervor and humility seldom equalled by many who attend Mass every Sunday.  Theirs is a living religion, with Christ personally and instantly approachable and intereste in their problems.  Amid the growing secularization of today the consciousness of a living God in our midst, brought by many [Hispanics], may be the best enrichment of American religious life and the most effective antidote to secularism in the Anglo middle-class culture of America.”

The quote was from a gentleman named Stan Twardy from an article entitled “The Changing Complexion of American Catholicism” Oklahoma Courier in 1962.

I got it from a book I was reading called “La Raza: Forgotten Americans”, edited by Julian Samora in 1966.  It is a book as old as me!  It is interesting that much of the dreary statistics given in the book, regarding economics and education among Hispanics, are just as dreary today as they were 40 years ago, except the population is 4 times larger.