Monday, September 29, 2008

The "New" New York

Later today, New York's Presbyteral Council sits for its first meeting since the body's well-regarded head was removed last month on multiple allegations of misconduct dating back three decades.

If experience is any indicator, earplugs might be useful.

More importantly, though, while the Stateside church's marquee see prepares yet again to host both presidential candidates in tribute to its Irish-dominant legacy, its Catholic population quietly but firmly passed the majority-Hispanic mark some years ago. Yet even so, the ecclesial ground-shift away from the Gotham church's first great immigration remains an ongoing process; last year, the traditional Guadalupe-eve mañanitas were held for the first time in St Patrick's Cathedral, and the Latino ascendancy reached a new watermark over the weekend at the 2 million-member fold's annual Catechetical Convocation:
The “Irish church” that once was in New York is becoming—or has become—an “Hispanic church.”

Some 2,000 educators—people who teach in parish education programs around the archdiocese—came to the convocation. They came for spiritual nourishment and to learn how to become better teachers.

No one was counting the ethnicity of those present, but I would guess that more than half of those in attendance were Hispanic. Maybe way more than half. It would have been easy to step inside the County Center (home to so many reptile shows and used computer shows) and think that it was some sort of Hispanic gathering.

Taking things further, the vast majority of white people in attendance were old-timers. But I saw lots of Hispanic teens and 20-somethings, some of whom seemed to tag along with their parents or their siblings—to an all-day catechetical conference.
Reinforcing the point, headlining the day was Hermana Glenda -- the Chilean-born, Gregorian-trained psychologist now living as a diocesan sister near Barcelona... best known, however, as this age's "Singing Nun":

That sound you hear? Renewal.

But as any singing nun reference would be remiss without recalling The Original, the obligatory Sourire fix...

Now 18 months past his 75th birthday, word on the ad intrade increasingly tips Cardinal Edward Egan's retirement and the appointment of his successor for next spring; as of last report, work on the former rectory widely understood to be the cardinal's post-452 pad-in-waiting was still approaching completion.