A Populist Shift Confronts the U.S. Catholic Church
To say she was a practicing Catholic would be an understatement. For years, Maria Aparecida Calazans was a mainstay at her Long Island church, joining dozens of fellow Brazilian immigrants for the Portuguese language Mass on Sunday mornings. She and her husband, Ramon, were married at the church. Their two daughters were baptized there, and every Friday she attended a prayer meeting that she had helped organize.
But six years ago, her husband went to a relative‚Äôs baptism at a Pentecostal church in a warehouse in Astoria, Queens, and came home smitten.
The couple made a deal. ‚ÄúWe would go to the Pentecostal service on Thursdays and to Mass on Sundays, and then we would decide which one we felt most comfortable with,‚ÄĚ Mrs. Calazans said....
from article: "'We would go to the Pentecostal service on Thursdays and to Mass on Sundays, and then we would decide which one we felt most comfortable with,'‚ÄĚ Mrs. Calazans said."
If I may interject with a statement to continue with Mrs. Calazan's way of thinking:
"Also, we need to get a feel for those in the congregation. If there are networking possibilities at one church over the other, let's focus on making strong connections there.
Let's compare logistics also. Which one has a better service time schedule, ample parking, a convenience store nearby to buy coffee, traffic, of course, and whether one building is hotter or too cold than the other.
Salvation is important but having fun with others while they respect my background is a necessity.
Oh, I almost forgot. Let's see which church offers a sports program for kids. I don't want my kid to be part of a yearly losing soccer or baseball or basketball team. There's no joy in losing. I'll see if I can volunteer at first to coach and then use my expertise to really get a great sport's team to honor god. And if my wife can't get a prime spot on the choir or drama staff, well, we'll have to decide what is worth giving up and balancing consequences."