The United States Catholic Church has experienced remarkable growth since the 1960s because of new immigrants. This thesis project focuses on one immigrant group and their children: U.S. Catholic Hispanics. It attempts to respond to the challenge of these Hispanic parents attempting to hand on the Catholic faith to their children. It makes the unexpected claim that preaching is essential part of helping these parents address this difficulty.
Chapter 1 describes the demography of the U.S. Catholic Church in 2018. The influx of Hispanic immigrants is set in the context of a larger influx of immigrants, such as Asians, Africans, and Pacific Islanders. After considering this broad context, this thesis focuses on Hispanic Catholics and the religious education level of their parents and children. The problem is that Hispanic parents are not transmitting the Catholic faith to their confirmation teenage children. That is one reason among others why their teenagers and young adults disengage from the Catholic Church. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate through catechetical preaching that Hispanic parents can learn skills to transmit the Catholic faith successfully to their confirmation teenage children.
Chapter 2 provides the necessary background for the thesis project's intervention: Hispanic Catechesis in the U.S. in 2018. Before arriving at this goal, however, it is necessary to examine the Catholic Church's understanding of catechesis and interculturalism. Effective catechesis will involve not only appropriate pedagogies but also a cultural analysis of the society in which catechists teach.
Chapter 3 starts with the history of the Catholic homily from Vatican II until the papacy of Pope Francis. Next, the chapter introduces catechesis and discusses whether the Sunday homily should be catechetical in nature. These two themes then lead to the culmination of the project: cross-cultural catechetical preaching to Hispanic parents in 2018. The principal investigator will attempt to paint a portrait of this complex reality.
Chapter 4 describes the intervention. The principal investigator developed a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and their confirmation children. He employed the tool of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) at the beginning of the course and interviewed all parents and their children both before and after the course. He also took field notes during the course to note observations of growth both in parents and in their children. He then analyzes the qualitative research for the thesis project: the initial two sessions of AI, initial interviews, and final interviews.
Chapter 5 presents the final product created from the thesis project's research data. The product is a syllabus for a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and confirmation teenagers during which the religious education instructor preaches catechetically to Hispanic parents and their confirmation age children.