I spent a few hours at the Archdiocese of New York’s big “Catechetical Convocation” on Saturday at the Westchester County Center and one thing was immediately clear.
The “Irish church” that once was in New York is becoming—or has become—an “Hispanic church.”
Some 2,000 educators—people who teach in parish education programs around the archdiocese—came to the convocation. They came for spiritual nourishment and to learn how to become better teachers.
No one was counting the ethnicity of those present, but I would guess that more than half of those in attendance were Hispanic. Maybe way more than half. It would have been easy to step inside the County Center (home to so many reptile shows and used computer shows) and think that it was some sort of Hispanic gathering.
Taking things further, the vast majority of white people in attendance were old-timers. But I saw lots of Hispanic teens and 20-somethings, some of whom seemed to tag along with their parents or their siblings—to an all-day catechetical conference.
I mentioned in my article that the archdiocese’s Catechetical Office, which ran the show, was smart enough to invite Sister Hermana Glenda, a guitar-strumming nun who is incredibly popular in Spain and Latin America. She sang in Spanish and English and brought down the house (quietly).
Boy, was she good. A powerful presence in a gray habit. And a new voice for a “new” Catholic Church in New York.