Q&A during Mass okay?


Many months ago, I eagerly attended an evening Festal Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe. My non-Catholic husband, who was at the time willing to attend RCIA with me at this particular parish, joined me. What we experienced there still haunts me. I would like to know if I should say or do something about it.

We live in a smallish town yet it has two Catholic churches about the same size. One of the parishes has services in English and Spanish, the other English only. We visited the English only one because we live in its ‘district’. I knew something was very wrong when we entered because there were a total of 8 people there, us included. The priest included a question and answer time, questions about Our Lady of Guadalupe, he said he was not familiar with this story, and folks commented on the fact that she must be a ‘hispanic’ Mary. Needless to say I felt very uneasy (we are hispanic) as I listened to the Q&A. We walked out of the short service kind of like in a daze. When we drove past the other parish…the parking lot was overflowing, I told my husband that the Virgen was at THAT church tonight. We went to THAT church on Saturday. There was the Virgen, covered in flowers and lit candles at her feet. The church was standing room only, a multicultural mix.

It is because of this disparity that my husband decided not to attend RCIA with me. The priest at the English only church is a monsignor and very ‘popular’ with locals, so I have heard. Its why I have not wanted to speak with him or mention it to anyone. But he did derail my husband. What should I do or say and to whom? Do monsignors continue in positions such as bishop? I would truly hate to see that happen with this priest.


Perhaps by the Q’s and A’s he was trying to get the people to tell the story or to find out how much they knew about Our Lady of Guadalupe. December the 12 is her Feast Day. You really haven’t told us anything that we can make a judgement on.


If you know about the Madonna of Guadalupe, it might have been nice to explain the story to the others. As to your husband, if he was so easily put off joining you in RCIA, maybe he’s not yet ready to join the church. Was this a mass, or just a prayer service? I can understand the Hispanic church being filled as our lady of Guadalupe, is very popular in Mexico. If it had been the a celebration of Our Lady of Walsingham, there might have been more people in the English church.:shrug:


Would he go with you to RCIA at the other parish, the one with a Spanish Mass?

It is true that people of Northern European descent in the US don’t generally pay much attention to Latin American things, and I suspect this is because of the residue of historical anti-Catholicism in the US. We are taught very little about the New World apart from the US, a tiny bit about the years after Columbus’s discovery, possibly a chapter about independence from Spain, and that’s it.

In between this and the fact that the Catholic communities in the US tended to be based on the nations of origin of immigrants, to the point that there would be a Polish parish, an Italian parish, and a German parish, we also focused on saints from those nations, and now, in between the new mixing of the cultures and general malaise of many churches, american Catholics really know very little about saints, much less what to make of them.

It is a sad state many of us are in, bit I would hate to think that your husband would retreat from learning more about the Faith because of historical and social patterns :frowning:


If the Q&A is done during the homily, it does serve a purpose of inviting people to learn more of the reason why the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated that day. Historically, the homily was an active dialogue between the homilist and the faithful, so if done during the homily, I wouldn’t worry about it.

By what you described, if I was hispanic and sitting there, I would be uncomfortable too. I think the priest might have noticed you and your husband and may have been hoping one of you would share the story with those in attendance, especially since having only 8 people in attendance can be a little less formal. :shrug:


I’ve always wanted to ask this, and I don’t intend it as any kind of a dig at you or anyone else. As a Canadian, the term Hispanic is rarely heard or used, so I don’t understand how one identifies someone as being Hispanic. Except for some Mexicans, central and South Americans who are biracial, European aboriginal; how would the priest, or anyone else, be able to distinguish someone of Spanish descrent from other Mediterranean people; italian, Greek, Portuguese, etc.? :confused:


The term ‘Hispanic’ is one of those over-arching words used to describe someone of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese origin, regardless of race. It is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘Latino.’ This is not meant to sound racist or of racial profiling, but there are certain physical features that can distinguish someone of ‘Hispanic’ descent as opposed to other European or Mediterranean descent. It usually has to do with more noticeable indigenous features as opposed to European features.


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