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  • Brotherhoods: The engine of the pilgrimage to El Rocío, Spain
    Posted: May 31, 2019 - 4:14pm

    The feast at El Rocío is organized around the pilgrimages of 124 hermandades, or brotherhoods. These groups make the picturesque journey into town in ox- or horse-drawn wagons, and stay in special group houses for the duration. The first and oldest of them, Almonte’s Hermandad Matriz, is the custodian of the sanctuary that the town and feast is built around and the key organizing force for the feast.

  • Day by day: The itinerary of the feast at El Rocío, Spain
    Posted: May 30, 2019 - 3:31pm

    Early in the week before Pentecost, the sleepy town of El Rocío starts to come to life. More than 121 brotherhoods and as many as one million people will join in the raucous Marian devotion.

  • Getting there: Wagon trains along the route to El Rocío, Spain
    Posted: May 23, 2019 - 4:09pm

    For members of the 124 brotherhoods who form the core of the pilgrimage to El Rocío, the process of getting to and from the feast is as important as the destination.

  • El Rocío, Spain: Joy and devotion not to be tamed
    Posted: May 23, 2019 - 3:14pm

    Every year, one million people descend on an otherwise isolated, whitewashed town on the edge of a national park in southern Spain for a grand annual pilgrimage to celebrate Nuestra Señora del Rocío. The feast culminates in a wild, raucous procession of her statue into the plazas, beginning in the deep of the night following Pentecost.

  • Chuukese prayer: like life, communal, not individual
    Posted: May 3, 2019 - 4:46pm

    Because Chuukese culture is as communal as it is, Catholic life centers on shared activities, not on solitude. Many pray with repetition of the Rosary, often at night as a family.

  • Micronesians maintain family ties despite high rates of migration
    Posted: May 3, 2019 - 4:29pm

    Though the islands of Micronesia are geographically isolated from the rest of the world, flights are relatively infrequent and visitors few, and Micronesian cultures focus so much on family cohesion, Micronesians have migrated in surprisingly large numbers.

  • Mary represents strength, patience, nurturance for Chuukese Catholics
    Posted: May 3, 2019 - 3:28pm

    Rosary and devotion to the Virgin are important Chuukese Catholics. On the Outer Island of Pollap, Mary represents what it means to be a woman.

  • Respect, reconciliation and what religion is for in Chuuk
    Posted: May 3, 2019 - 12:32pm

    Well-attended Advent and Lenten reconciliation services, a culturally important family reconciliation ritual that is incorporated into funeral novenas, and a traditional, communal practice of reconciliation in the aftermath of violence suggest how important reconciliation is in Chuukese culture. 

  • Chuukese bring home their dead and mourn for many days
    Posted: May 3, 2019 - 11:03am

    In the Chuuk Lagoon, the dead are often buried very close to the house, rather than in separate cemeteries. Funerals are major, multi-night events organized and attended by the whole community, and by relatives from abroad if possible.

  • Worship shaped by values of deference and respect in Chuuk
    Posted: April 30, 2019 - 2:26pm

    Respect, the paramount value in Micronesian society, is communicated by deference: by speaking quietly and often lowering one’s eyes; by trying not to “stand above” another; or even trying not to stand out from the crowd. So it is at worship.

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