What's New

  • Holy Week's biggest crowds show for washing of feet on Thursday
    Posted: September 3, 2013 - 9:34am

    The largest crowd by far gathers for the ceremony of the washing of the feet, which takes place on a big stage set up in front of St. Francis Church in Ouro Preto.

  • Ouro Preto, Brazil marks Holy Week with daily processions, events
    Posted: September 3, 2013 - 9:27am

    With 13 baroque churches, colonial architecture, and lush, steep terrain, Ouro Preto is a gem of a town, well known for its Holy Week observances, featuring no fewer than eight processions and special activities.

  • Charismatic practice draws half of Brazilian Catholics
    Posted: August 29, 2013 - 2:30pm

    The popularity of Pentecostalism has not only caused an exodus of Catholics, but also reshaped Catholicism with the introduction of charismatic practice. Today, one half of Brazilian Catholics are charismatic.

  • Introduction: Portuguese and African foundations, Charismatic turn
    Posted: August 29, 2013 - 2:16pm

    In some ways Brazilian Catholicism is marked by a variety of forms of religious spectacle. Yet as one of the birthplaces and centers of liberation theology, Brazil is equally home to less spectacular but no less influential forms of Catholicism.

  • Chinese cultural beliefs on death and afterlife prevail in Hong Kong
    Posted: July 23, 2013 - 1:39pm

    "Deities, ancestors and ghosts live in an invisible supernatural world which coexists with the natural world, allowing spirits to be closely involved in human matters."

  • El Shaddai, charismatic practice popular among Filipina migrants in Hong Kong
    Posted: July 23, 2013 - 12:20pm

    A number of charismatic Catholic groups meet in Hong Kong, including El Shaddai, a Philippines-based Catholic charismatic organization with a following in the millions. These groups fill an important role in the lives of the hundred or more women who show up for weekday Masses — often on the one day a week they have off.

  • Filipina Catholics in Hong Kong find faith as a refuge
    Posted: July 22, 2013 - 3:11pm

    The Filipina experience in Hong Kong makes comfort and refuge very intense, dominant themes for the migrant Catholics. In interviews with Filipina househelp, women often cried when talking about prayer and their faith. While most of the Filipinos interviewed said that Filipino Catholicism was relatively emotional, all ascribed this tendency to cry to the social situation, strain and loss that women feel at such a distance from home. Religion became a particular refuge for them in ways that they had not experienced at home.

  • Localized practices of Filipina Catholics limited in Hong Kong
    Posted: July 22, 2013 - 2:08pm

    There is some evidence that Catholic practice in Hong Kong tends to undo some of the local variation that exists in the Philippines. Back home, Filipino culture and religious practice encompass many particular local practices and devotions from 7,000 islands in a big archipelago. Some of those local practices and identities are brought to Hong Kong, but in the eyes of the dominant culture, a person’s origin in Luzon, Cebu, or Mindanao is subsumed even more to their identity as Filipinas.

  • Hong Kong's Catholicism reflects globalized aesthetic
    Posted: July 22, 2013 - 1:00pm

    The population of Hong Kong grew enormously after the 1948 revolution in China. While some churches, like the cathedral, predate that period, the vast majority date to the 1960s.

    Missionary clergy who wanted to indigenize Catholicism by including statues and paintings that depict Jesus or Mary with an Asian face speak with some disappointment about the desire among Hong Kong Chinese to stick with images that portray them with European looks.

  • Home practice hindered for Filipina Catholics in Hong Kong
    Posted: July 18, 2013 - 3:24pm

    For many Filipinas in Hong Kong, the lack of personal space makes it hard to practice religion in their homes, whereas this was very important to them in the Philippines.

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