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Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Life

Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Life

Stephen M. Cherry
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 238
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hj1qj
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  • Book Info
    Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Life
    Book Description:

    STEPHEN M. CHERRY draws upon a rich set of ethnographic and survey data, collected over a six-year period, to explore the roles that Catholicism and family play in shaping Filipino American community life. From the planning and construction of community centers, to volunteering at health fairs or protesting against abortion, this book illustrates the powerful ways these forces structure and animate not only how first-generation Filipino Americans think and feel about their community, but how they are compelled to engage it over issues deemed important to the sanctity of the family.Revealing more than intimate accounts of Filipino American lives, Cherry offers a glimpse of the often hidden but vital relationship between religion and community in the lives of new immigrants, and allows speculation on the broader impact of Filipino immigration on the nation. The Filipino American community is the second-largest immigrant community in the United States, and the Philippines is the second-largest source of Catholic immigration to this country. This ground-breaking study outlines how first-generation Filipino Americans have the potential to reshape American Catholicism and are already having an impact on American civic life through the engagement of their faith.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-6206-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER 1 FAITHFULLY FILIPINO AND AMERICAN
    (pp. 1-22)

    Shortly after 8 A.M. on a muggy Saturday morning in Houston, Texas, Dan, a first-generation Filipino American Catholic in his late thirties, urged his family to get ready.¹ The night prior, at their weekly household Couples for Christ (CFC) prayer meeting, Dan and his wife Lita, also a first-generation Filipino American Catholic in her thirties, invited me to join them the next morning when they were to volunteer at a local soup kitchen called Fishes and Loaves. We had been discussing what it means to them to be Filipino and Catholic. I asked them how their faith impacts their understanding...

  6. CHAPTER 2 CATHOLIC CULTURE AND FILIPINO FAMILIES
    (pp. 23-41)

    On the 110th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain, hundreds of Filipino Americans gathered to celebrate a thanksgiving mass at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Houston.¹ The service was led by St. Catherine’s resident first-generation Filipino American priest, Monsignor Father José. Those in attendance, also largely first-generation Filipino immigrants, wore brightly coloredbarongsandbaro’t saya(Ta) or Maria Claras, the traditional formal shirts and dresses worn by Filipinos on special occasions. Coming from all over Houston and neighboring cities, they represented Filipinos from nearly every Philippine region and province that has immigrated to the United States...

  7. CHAPTER 3 COMMUNITY OF COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 42-62)

    “Shhhhhh . . . be quiet, don’t say anything; he’s coming already, get ready to sing,” shouted Reyna, a first-generation Filipina American and the organizer of the party. As we all crouched down, Stan Estrada, a first-generation Filipino American and the guest of honor, entered the restaurant with his first-generation Filipina American wife Cheryl. The crowd met them with a rousing “Surprise” followed by a loud round of “Happy Birthday” orMaligayang bati(Ta), sung by some in English and others in Tagalog. The occasion was Stan’s sixtieth birthday. The celebration also marked his official early retirement from a long...

  8. CHAPTER 4 COMMUNITIES IN CONFLICT
    (pp. 63-84)

    It was eleven o’clock at night, and for members of Bibingka, all of whom are first-generation Filipino Americans, their Friday night fellowship had really just gotten started. They had been praying the Rosary, singing, and sharing their thoughts on scripture for over three hours. As the final prayer closed with a resounding, “Amen” and one last song was sung, they all made their way to the kitchen to prepare “a little midnight snack,” as Janis put it. More like an extravagant buffet, the kitchen was filled with dish after succulent dish of Filipino cuisine, including Jun’s famouspancit(Ta) noodles.¹...

  9. CHAPTER 5 BUILDING CENTERS OF COMMUNITY
    (pp. 85-105)

    Every year first-generation Filipino Americans in Houston, like Filipinos in other cities across the United States, host a series of annual induction galas and celebrations for their various regional and community associations. The events are extravagant affairs with formal induction ceremonies, luscious buffets or multiple-course plate dinners, and often involve dancing into the early morning hours. They are an important place to be seen, and inevitably end up being covered in large photo spreads in local community newspapers. However, despite years of fundraising and countless pleas for unity, none of Houston’s numerous Filipino American associations has built a community center...

  10. CHAPTER 6 CARING FOR COMMUNITY
    (pp. 106-126)

    “It’s really a crazy time of the year for us,” Father José explained on the eve of the third annual Alief Health and Civic Resource Fair held at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.¹ As various groups and organizations, Filipino or otherwise, gathered at the parish hall for one last meeting of the parish council before the event, they checked over their lists of volunteers and supplies and debated various logistical issues. In the midst of these final preparations, I saw several familiar faces. Members of Bibingka, Couples for Christ, Pilipino American Masons of Texas (PAMAT), Philippine Nurse Association of Metropolitan Houston,...

  11. CHAPTER 7 PROTECTING FAMILY AND LIFE
    (pp. 127-148)

    When President Bush announced that one of the top priorities of his second term was to reform the nation’s immigration policy by granting millions of undocumented workers the opportunity to attain legal status, the Catholic Church applauded the move but also knew that Republicans in the House, members of Bush’s own party, were staunchly against the idea or any other reforms that would establish a guest-worker program.¹ With the realization that House Resolution 4437 was also gaining momentum and could threaten the way the Church served its parish and the community by prosecuting those who aid or help undocumented immigrants,...

  12. CHAPTER 8 GROWING PRESENCE AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS
    (pp. 149-164)

    In 1992, Tessie Manuel, with a coalition of other first-generation Filipino Americans that included a small group from Texas, wrote Monsignor Bransfield, the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, to inquire what it would take to build a chapel for Our Lady of Antipolo—an apparition of the Virgin Mary of Peace and Good Voyage in the Philippines known as Birhenng Antipolo.¹ For decades, Filipinos visiting the national shrine had questioned Birhenng Antipolo’s absence and longed for their own faith journey to take a final resting place in the basilica. Diana,...

  13. METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX
    (pp. 165-172)
  14. NOTES
    (pp. 173-206)
  15. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 207-216)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 217-222)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 223-224)