Why Hispanic Catholics don’t give money…
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A few months ago, Bishop Jose Gomez, Auxiliary of Denver, and one of the leading voices of Hispanic Catholicism in the United States, explained why Hispanic immigrants do not contribute financially to their parishes as much as American Catholics do, even after they have reached a moderate financial situation.

Providing some historical roots, Bishop Gomez explained to a large audience of English-speaking Catholics in Northern Colorado the two very different ways in which the Catholic Church was established in Latin America and in North America.

“While the Spanish Crown provided all the means needed for the propagation of the Church – the building of parishes and the assistance to the needy in the colonies – in the U.S., Catholics had to fight their way into the American culture, a fight that required the commitment of each and every single Catholic,” the bishop explained.

As a consequence, while American Catholics developed the commitment to support their local Church as something critical for the survival of their Church, sustaining the Catholic Church was not their direct concern for Hispanics.

Besides, “Mexicans do not enroll in parishes, do not fill envelopes or send money by mail because they don’t trust the mail service, and especially poor Mexicans see the parish as a refuge more than as a place to contribute,” the bishop explained.

Also, unlike most U.S. parishes, typical parishes in Latin America hardly have budgets for personnel: the choir master, the secretary, the singers, the heads of the different ministers and even the workers who make reparations are mostly volunteers.

“Most Mexicans find it dishonorable to charge anything to the Church, so they offer their time and energy as much as they can or as much as they perceive is needed,” the auxiliary of Denver said.

“Catholic immigrants have certainly to adapt to the way parishes operate in the U.S., but in the process the local Church could gain something by assimilating part of the approach Hispanics have for lesser, more simple parish structures,” he concluded.

…And how they are learning to do it

Antoninho Tatto is a Brazilian Catholic, father of six children, who after a successful career in advertising, decided to devote all of his time to a particularly difficult ministry: promoting stewardship among Brazilians and Hispanics.

For this purpose, Tatto founded the Missionaries for Evangelization and Promotion of Communities, whose goal is to promote tithing among Latino Catholics.

Surprisingly, there is no word for “stewardship” in Spanish or Portuguese, but that has not prevented Tatto from making tithing a key concept to secure financial resources to parishes and foster the spiritual renewal of parishes in Latin America.

“Tithing has generated a tremendous sense of responsibility and, as a consequence, more generous giving and a stronger commitment to the faith and the life of the local Church,” says Bishop Miguel Irizar of Callao (Peru). Bishop Irizar is a pioneer in launching the “Campaña del Diezmo” – The Tithing Campaign – promoted by Tatto.

According to the Brazilian lay evangelist, “the dream of stewardship calls for a radical change in the way parishes and dioceses in Latin America are supported, from dependence on others to self-sufficiency, in pursuit of the Church’s evangelizing mission.”

Tatto, who has broadly translated “stewardship” for “corresponsabilidad” (co-responsibility) says the tithing campaign, which he promotes with two booklets and a crash course, is changing the way Latinos are contributing to the Catholic Church in the U.S., especially in places with a large concentration of Hispanics, such as Miami.

“When they (Latino Catholic) discover that it is not about changing their giving patterns but changing their lives, then they realize how important and how liberating it is to share with the local Church the gifts of God,” Tatto says.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27