Friday, December 10, 2010

Morenita, Welcome Home

And so, church, here we go -- at long last, American Catholicism's Biggest Party of the year is again upon us.

To kick it off, lest anyone needed further proof of the Guadalupanos' stealth inroad into the heart (and, sometime this decade, a plurality of the pewfolk) of ecclesial life on these shores, it's worth sharing that the "Super Bowl" has even arrived in what some might consider the most unlikely and hidebound of places....

That is, this one.

Live from the River City, a taste of the most energetic Cathedral gathering this town's seen since the days of William Hogan (and this time, without the fisticuffs):

However unintended, suffice it to say, this gives new meaning to the canonical designation "Philadelphiensis Latinorum."

* * *
On a related note, at the far reaches of the Irish model's Last Empire (its Catholic school enrollment down a third over the decade), no less than the AP recently highlighted a local development right out of the national fold's last great demographic handoff (read: the 1840s) -- the establishment of a "national parish" for the booming Hispanic community working the fields out in exurban Chester County.

Until now, the Latin mission has gotten by on borrowing the facilities of five parish churches, only being able to use each when their respective congregations weren't around.

According to its pastor, the 12,000-member mission (grown from 1,000 in 1990) celebrated the baptism of 425 infants last year -- the most of any community in this local church. The new parish's median age is 18.

And, as ever, 'nuff said.

(5am on the 12th... across the river in Camden.)

PHOTOS: Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times(1); AP(2)