The Church in the Barrio
Mexican American Ethno-Catholicism in Houston
By Roberto R. Treviño
328 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 21 illus., 3 tables, 4 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5667-3
Published: February 2006
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-7731-9
Published: December 2006
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Awards & distinctions
2006 T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award, Texas Historical Commission
Houston's native-born and immigrant Mexicans alike found solidarity and sustenance in their Catholicism, a distinctive style that evolved from the blending of the religious sensibilities and practices of Spanish Christians and New World indigenous peoples. Employing church records, newspapers, family letters, mementos, and oral histories, Treviño reconstructs the history of several predominately Mexican American parishes in Houston. He explores Mexican American Catholic life from the most private and mundane, such as home altar worship and everyday speech and behavior, to the most public and dramatic, such as neighborhood processions and civil rights marches. He demonstrates how Mexican Americans' religious faith helped to mold and preserve their identity, structured family and community relationships as well as institutions, provided both spiritual and material sustenance, and girded their long quest for social justice.
About the Author
Roberto R. Treviño is associate professor of history and assistant director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington.
For more information about Roberto R. Treviño, visit the Author Page.
"Comprehensive . . . lucid and interesting . . . accessible to scholars and lay people alike. . . . It does all that a good work of scholarship should. It deserves examination from those who are interested in the ways in which minorities adapt to majorities and alter majorities in the process"--Canadian Journal of History
"Provides a welcome addition to literature on Mexican Americans and it takes a magnificent stride toward explaining the significance of religion in their lives. . . . Adds information critical to understanding the West's longstanding relationship with Mexico."--Western Historical Society
"An illuminating departure from most studies found in Chicano/a history."--Journal of Southern History
"Provides an excellent schematic for understanding the role of the Catholic Church in the Mexican American community in Houston."--Catholic Historical Review
"Makes a welcome contribution to Chicano history with [its] fine study of Catholic religious belief, practice, and institution building among Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Houston."--Journal of American History
"A well-researched study of religion as practiced by Mexican Americans, a form of religion he terms 'ethno-Catholicism'. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice