Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love

Devotees of La Morenita have another reason to celebrate. A new book about Her, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, has come out this month and is quickly climbing the bestseller lists. Co-authored by Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, also author of the bestselling A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World, and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez, co–founder and rector of the Institute for Guadalupan Studies and Postulator of the Cause of the Canonization of Saint Juan Diego, the book debuted at number six on the August 14, 2009 release of the New York Times best-sellers list and has also made appearances on the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly lists.

"Anderson and Chávez trace the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the sixteenth century to the present and discuss how her message was and continues to be an important catalyst for religious and cultural transformation. Looking at Our Lady of Guadalupe as a model of the Church and Juan Diego as a model for all Christians, the authors explore the changing face of the Catholic Church. They show how Our Lady of Guadalupe's message was not only historically significant, but how it speaks to contemporary issues confronting the American continents and people today."
Now some of my regular readers are going to say: What's a nice radical girl like you doing promoting a KoC book, especially after you posted that piece on Fr. Geoff Farrow and his call for a boycott of the KoC because of their funding of the Church's opposition to Proposition 8 in California? The answer is that life isn't black and white and this book is potentially helpful in our struggle to gain support for our Latino immigrant brothers and sisters. To quote:

When Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego, there was no shortage of distrust between the Native Americans and the Spaniards. Similarly today, there is no shortage of distrust based on different cultures or nationalities. Perhaps one of the biggest hurddles to overcome is the fear by many in the United States of Hispanic immigration. Of all people, Catholics should have no trouble remembering that the same fears were harbored against the Irish and Italian immigrants of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Few today would contest the contributions made by those immigrants to the United States, who not only assimilated but breathed dynamic life into the Catholic Church and helped to make it the largest single religious denomination in the United States.

The authors go on to cite a New York Times article that shows that since 1960 Hispanics have accounted for 71 percent of new Catholics in the United States.

At a time when Church attendance is faltering across Europe, it is stronger in this hemisphere and strongest in Latin American countries and in those places in the United States that Hispanic immigrants call home...For Catholics in the United States, immigration from Latin America brings a unique benefit. Hispanic immigration brings with it the promise of a revitalization of our parishes through a rich tradition of spiritual devotion..."
And the authors encourage American Catholics to welcome the new arrivals and help them to assimilate into our parishes and communities. We who are working on immigration reform should be capitalizing on this leadership from the Supreme Knight and inviting Knights of Columbus chapters to unite behind their leader and join in our efforts to gain a path to legalization and other rights for our nation's immigrants, documented and undocumented.

1 comment:

  1. Nice article. Our Lady of Guadalupe was revealed to me when I was questioning the Lord's existence in my life. God never fails.