Power dynamics in Catholic parishes shared by Latinos

J Prev Interv Community. 2018 Oct-Dec;46(4):380-392. doi: 10.1080/10852352.2018.1507498.


The National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry confirmed that most Latino Catholics share their parish with another cultural group, usually Euro-American whites. The presence of multiple ethnic or racial groups in a single parish inevitably draws attention to the power relationships between those groups. Data reveal an emerging majority of Latino Catholics in the United States, yet demographic status does not necessarily translate to increased influence in parishes. Latino Catholics are often "silent majorities" (or pluralities). Understanding racial and ethnic power dynamics within parishes requires an exploration of those dynamics in the larger social ecology within which a parish is situated as well as understanding them in historical context. From such an exploration, preliminary insights emerge that may assist scholars in their understanding of the intersection of religion, ethnicity, and race in U.S. religious groups and assist pastoral leaders in making decisions.

Keywords: Catholic; Hispanic Catholic leadership; Hispanic ministry; immigrant integration; multicultural parish; shared parish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • California
  • Catholicism*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Ethnicity
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Environment
  • United States
  • White People*