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Chicago CatólicoMaking Catholic Parishes Mexican$
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Deborah E. Kanter

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042973

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042973.001.0001

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La catedral mexicana

La catedral mexicana

St. Francis of Assisi and the Mexican Near West Side, 1940–1962

(p.31) 2. La catedral mexicana
Chicago Católico

Deborah E. Kanter

University of Illinois Press

Mexicans, tejanos, and braceros converged on Chicago in greater numbers in the World War II era and after. Most settled around St. Francis of Assisi Church, which anchored the city’s largest Mexican neighborhood, the Near West Side. Puerto Ricans joined other Spanish speakers. Priests and nuns aimed to meet immigrants’ religious and social needs. St. Francis offered a rich Catholic liturgical calendar of feast days, novenas, and Holy Hours. Parishioners avidly took part in personal and communal religious devotion. St. Francis became “el refugio de los mexicanos” and simultaneously grew into a very American parish. As the city’s Latino population dispersed, the faithful came from well beyond the Near West Side. The church’s cathedral-like reputation endures even today.

Keywords:   Chicago, immigrants, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Spanish, Catholic, parishes, religious devotion, novenas, braceros

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