What's New

  • Yapese gender roles influence Catholic belief and practice
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 12:40pm

    Though the rules may differ from island to island—Yap proper is traditionally a patrilineal society, whereas Outer Islanders’ cultures, like most of the rest of Micronesia, are traditionally matrilineal—the rules are clear and indisputable. Catholics adaptations of traditional cultural practices into worship give women, rather than men, added, prominent roles at the holiest moments of the church year.

  • Respect and restraint in worship are cultural values in Yap, Micronesia
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 11:02am

    The style of Yapese liturgy is modest and self-controlled. For Yapese, standing is not a sign of respect or reverence. Neither is kneeling. Putting oneself low is a sign of respect, so sitting on the floor through Mass is the standard form of modesty and respect for many worshippers.

  • Women in Yap dance at Easter for the 'Light that lights up the world'
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 9:29am

    At both Christmas and Easter liturgies, dance is incorporated into Catholic worship, to communicate the importance of these days and to help tell the stories behind them. Yapese Catholics spoke about these dances as means to communicate what’s most sacred and deep about the Christian story in their own language and mode of expression.

  • Doloolow: Women in Yap wail over the suffering of Christ on Good Friday
    Posted: April 18, 2019 - 10:26am

    One of the most distinctive ritual experiences of Yapese Catholicism is a ritual wherein women sit around the image of Christ on the Cross and wail to recount and mourn Jesus’ Passion. Its expressive power is matched in few Catholic contexts.

  • Holy Week in Yap marked by wailing, dancing, flowers, and thanksgiving
    Posted: April 16, 2019 - 11:05am

    As is true anywhere, Holy Week is a time of intense liturgical activity in Yap. The liturgy follows the normal Catholic form, augmented by two especially interesting rituals, the doloolow, a mourning ritual at the Cross on Good Friday, and the thanksgiving dance for the Easter vigil.

  • Cultural traditions and Catholicism guide life on Yap, Micronesia
    Posted: April 15, 2019 - 12:54pm

    Yap is the most heavily Catholic of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia. Though this account concerns a quite small community of people compared to the world’s billion-plus Catholics, the ways that Yapese culture interacts with Catholicism are intriguing.

  • Christianity spread quickly across Chuuk Lagoon in 20th century
    Posted: April 12, 2019 - 3:28pm

    Though Catholicism and Protestantism came late to Chuuk, the islands became almost entirely Christian in a relatively short time. On islands that had once been fiercely resistant to Christianity, the catechists and Jesuits made surprisingly rapid progress spreading the faith.

  • The ephemerality of beauty in the visual culture of Micronesian Catholicism
    Posted: April 5, 2019 - 4:03pm

    The humid, tropical environment, and sometime brutal typhoons have a habit of undoing the built environment quickly. Micronesian religious culture recognizes that reality about the world, and has found ways to bring the beauty of that world into worship.

  • Micronesia's island cultures weave faith and traditions in distinctive ways
    Posted: April 5, 2019 - 1:17pm

    Though the vast majority of Micronesians identify as Christian (just over half the population identifies as Catholic), Christianity came late to these islands, beginning in the 1850s. Today the Church relies on a large number of lay catechists and deacons.

  • Ukraine survey data
    Posted: February 14, 2019 - 12:40pm

    Compared to western Europeans, Ukrainians stand out on several fronts as more socially conservative.


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