Catholic Press Association 12 01 2016 E Edition Page 1

THE CATHOLIC JOURNALIST CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA VOLUME 68 NUMBER 10 DECEMBER 2016 By Corinna Laughlin Northwest Catholic magazine Each Sunday, thousands of Catholics gather for Mass in parishes and missions across the Archdiocese of Seattle. In union with the church throughout the world, we all hear the same readings and offer the same prayers. But we do so in a multitude of languages. Each week in Western Washington, Masses are offered in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Swahili, Laotian, Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Polish and Samoan, among others. In one of the most diverse parts of the country, we are a diverse church - a church of immigrants. Seattle has always been a church of immigrants. In the early days of the diocese, clergy gatherings must have been quite an interesting experience with priests from French Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and other nations, serving side by side. Some were fluent in English; others were struggling to learn it. One of the reasons Bishop A.M.A. Blanchet journeyed to Mexico in search of funds for the newly established Diocese of Nesqually - rather than going to the East Coast - was that he was fluent in Spanish, but could hardly speak English at the time. The diverse and polyglot nature of the diocese must be one reason that Bishop Gerald Shaughnessy was sent to Seattle in 1933 as our fourth bishop. Born in Massachusetts in 1887, Bishop Shaughnessy had never visited Seattle before his appointment - the closest he had come was one visit to California and a short stint as a teacher in Anaconda, Montana (where, coincidentally, one of the students he coached on the basketball team would later become the mother of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen). Shaughnessy was fascinated by statistics, and in his doctoral dissertation at The Catholic University of America, he decided to focus on immigration. In particular, he wanted to test the validity of a common perception about Catholic immigrants in the United States. The narrative went like this: The immigrants who flooded into the U.S. in the 19th century must have abandoned their Catholic faith in huge numbers. Otherwise, the number of Catholics in the U.S. would be vastly larger than it was. This narrative was accepted unquestioningly by many church leaders in the U.S. (and Rome), and Shaughnessy wanted to find out if it was true. His dissertation was published in 1925 under the provocative title Has the Immigrant Kept the Faith? In his study, Shaughnessy analyzed the Catholic population in the United States, decade by decade, beginning in 1790, when John Carroll became the first archbishop of Baltimore. In painstaking detail, he traced waves of immigration from many countries through many years, in the process touching on historical movements that impacted the Catholic Church both in Europe and in the United States. He wrote about cholera epidemics, revolutions, persecutions of various kinds, "Know-Nothings," Masons, the California Gold Rush and financial booms and panics, showing how each of these events retarded or advanced Catholic growth. He compared the population of foreign-born Catholics and the growth of the native-born population, and noted the numbers of conversions to the faith along the way. In the end, Shaughnessy answered the question "Has the immigrant kept the faith?" with a resounding yes: "It is due to immigration that the Catholic Church in America today stands out among her sister Churches of other nations, the equal of any, if not indeed superior to all, in loyalty, vitality, fidelity, and stability." But, he said, there is more. The church in the United States, Shaughnessy argued, is unique in the world. "Not another instance in history is recorded, where millions of different races and nationalities, of varied natural prejudices and leanings, made their way to a strange country there to build up what they found practically non-existent, a flourishing, closely-knit, firmly welded Church." Perhaps it is not so surprising, after all, that Shaughnessy was appointed bishop of Seattle in 1933. The Catholic Church in Seattle was exactly what he had described in Has the Immigrant Kept the Faith? : a local church that was alive and thriving, not in spite of the presence of so many immigrants, but precisely because of them. Corinna Laughlin is the pastoral assistant for liturgy at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Minorities: The conversation continues By Bishop Edward K. Braxton I read with interest the article by Ms. Gonzalez concerning the homily I delivered when I celebrated the Eucharist for the Catholic Media Conference in St. Louis (Erasing the Word "minority" Doesn't Erase Majority's Responsibility for Justice, T HE CATHOLIC JOURNALIST, vol. 68 #8). I appreciate the paper's invitation to its readers to share their thoughts about my reflection. I certainly agree with Ms. Gonzalez's statement that Catholics and Catholic media, in particular, must do far more than attempt to be accurate in the words they use. They must use every means possible to denounce injustice and bias wherever they see it. I also agree that the Church and Catholic media have, at times, been eloquent in their silence in the face of events that cry out for words and deeds inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We all have a responsibility to bridge the racial divide. However, I believe that Ms. Gonzalez has misunderstood my position concerning so-called "minorities" in the United States. I have not argued that we should not speak of "minorities and minority groups" in the United States simply because they foster racial profiling and stereotypes. While this is certainly true, my point is that we should not use these expressions because they are inaccurate and untrue statements, even though the media, the Catholic Church, and members of the designated groups continue to perpetuate these expressions. European-Americans, with roots in Ireland, Germany, Italy, Belgium or Poland, for example, were once ostracized in this country as "immigrants," "foreigners," and "undesirable minorities." In my home Archdiocese of Chicago, these immigrants lived in completely different neighborhoods and worshiped in completely different churches, with limited contact with each other. The same was true of Jewish people. (In the 1930s Fr. Charles E. Coughlin, the controversial Canadian- American priest, used his radio program, which had up to 30 million listeners, to engage in anti-Semitic harangues against the Jewish people calling them a wealthy, powerful "minority group" that threatened true Americans.) But why are these "ethnic" groups generally not considered minorities today? The answer is not because any one of these groups now constitutes the statistical majority of the U.S. population. Some history is needed. I strongly recommend that your readers study Noel Ignatiev's How the Irish Became White s and Matthew Frye Jacobson's Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Jacobson documents with precision the process by which almost incompatible Americans whose ancestors were from various European countries with very little in common joined forces in the face of the Great Migration of African- Americans from the south to northern cities. In this process they de-emphasized the many ways in which emigrant groups were different Please turn to page 2 Bishop Edward Braxton Opinion We have always been a church of immigrants

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