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Latinos and American Catholicism: Examining Service Provision Amidst Demographic Change

  • K. E. Huckle (a1)

Abstract

The Catholic Church currently sits at the forefront of U.S. demographic change as a prominent institution that is working on how to positively respond to a growing Latino population. Understanding the factors that either complicate or facilitate that endeavor may help other institutions in their future efforts to likewise integrate and serve Latino communities. Further, there may be broader implications for the success of Catholic churches to serve as research has found that participation in church activities is positively related to increased rates of civic and political engagement. However, these positive effects cannot be felt if churches fail to present the opportunity to participate in the first place. To that end, this study examines the relationship between Latino population density, the presence of a Latino minister, and the likelihood a church would offer Spanish mass or any other service relevant to the Latino community. I find these factors are useful in predicting service provision to a limited degree, and that individual leaders’ initiative and decision making also play a role in determining institutional responsiveness.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: K. E. Huckle, Department of Political Science, Pace University, 41 Park Row, Room 1103, New York, NY. E-mail: khuckle@pace.edu

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