Holy Week celebrations differ between United States and Latin America

By Michael P Garrett

Father John Schmeidler of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence and Ligia Galarza, a Catholic from Ecuador, discuss the differences between Holy Week celebrations in the United States and Latin America.

Transcript

MICHAEL GARRETT: Holy Week is a weeklong tradition where people of the Catholic faith prepare for the Christian holiday of Easter. This week is widely celebrated throughout Latin American countries. Ligia Galarza from Quito, Ecuador says there are big differences in the way Hispanics in the states celebrate Holy Week compared to how it is celebrated in Latin America.

LIGIA GALARZA: In Ecuador, when I was growing up Catholic, was a very special week. Nobody worked, it was a holiday for the whole week and everybody goes to church.

GARRETT: Father John Schmeidler of St. John the Evangelist, says the difference between the celebrations of Holy Week could be because of the influx of Catholics in Latin American countries.

FATHER JOHN SCHMEIDLER: Well in Latin America and Mexico Catholicism is the growing faith. That’s the biggest influx of people into the faith of the Catholic Church.

GARRETT: According to the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life national survey, 70 percent of Latinos are Catholic, translating into 29 million Catholic Latinos in the United States. St. John’s Catholic Church in Lawrence has nearly 200 Hispanic families in their parish.

GARRETT: This Easter Sunday St. John is offering a special mass said entirely in Spanish for those of the Hispanic community. For michaelpgarrett.wordpress.com this has been Michael Garrett.

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