November 25, 2013
THE MEXICAN AMERICANS OF SOUTH TEXAS
According to Webster’s dictionary religion is defined as “a belief and worship of God or gods; a specific system of belief, worship, etc. often involving a code of ethics.” Religion is important to Mexican Americans. “The majority of Mexican Americans are Catholic but their interpretations of Catholicism vary with class and education.” Religion played a part in moral, ethical and political decisions of various groups and societies. The Mexican Americans of South Texas were Catholic. Most believed in the Spanish Indian beliefs but were despaired of the priests. The priests were respected by the people and were well educated but didn’t understand everything. Women followed the priest and respected the priest more than men did. Men had more of a status in order to attend, thanking the church and giving back because of it. Praying to shrines brought success and gifts their followers and businesses, if they listened and gave offerings. The Mexicans also pray to different shrines for help and to find jobs, pay bills, protect travels, and passing school courses. Some who didn’t believe in the Catholic religion were called Protestants and believed there are only saints or sinners. Catholicism that is practiced by the Mexican Americans of South Texas is not that different from the rest of the United States. Weddings, baptisms, and funerals are part of the practices of the Catholic church. Most Mexican American homes contained a family altar and were adorned with some sort of Catholic fixtures. My ethnographer states that she noticed holy images, photographs, flowers, candles and incense. The priest gets a lot of respect from the community. He is referred to as, “Father.” There is music played in the church, as well as, social gatherings. The church is a place of worship and it retains tradition for the Mexican...
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