A new study has found that Catholicism in the United States has fundamentally changed from being white and middle class to immigrant and working class, prompting tensions about how to respond to the shift, the Catholic News website reports today (April 9, 2015).
The Boston College study shows an increasing number of parishes serving Latinos matching the explosive growth of this sub-population in churches.
Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College and a native of Colombia, served as the principal investigator for a national study of parishes serving Latino Catholics, who now make up 40 percent of the total U.S. Catholic population.
"What we see are thousands of parishes nationwide, and dioceses, reinventing themselves," Prof. Ospino said. His study found that 25 percent of Catholic parishes in the U.S. now have Hispanic ministries. They are intentionally creating new programs, outreach strategies, and structures to serve their new parishioners. Moreover, many church leaders are now learning Spanish to connect with their flocks.