Friday, June 20, 2014

Ministry Under Fire and More

In May I completed the study of Devotion to Mary in the Caribbean Missions and presented my findings.  I am sharing my research with the Mariological Society of America and the McGreal Center at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.   This year I am studying the mission of the Queen of the Holy Rosary Congregation in Mexico.  I am using Sister Maria Victoria Hernandez’s self-published book Ministry Under Fire as a starting point.   

My research is part of the preparation for 2016 celebration of the confirmation of the Dominican Order, the International Congress on the History of the Order of Preachers in America, and the McGreal Center’s online publication of OPUS Vol. II - Dominicans on Mission.  My research purpose is to discover how devotion to Our Lady was introduced in the mission, the effects of enculturation and syncretism on regional beliefs about Our Lady, the establishment of Our Lady’s patronage over the region and the current needs and challenges. I'm using the same outline I followed in my study of the Caribbean missions.

General Outline:
1. Arrival of the missionaries and description the religious beliefs of the natives they encountered
2. Colonial approach to mission and its impact on the native peoples and other inhabitants
3. Establishment of the Church and significant religious institutions in the region
4. Local legends associated with Our Lady’s patronage of the region
5. Government support, interference, suppression, expulsion or elimination of the mission
6. Evangelization processes employed and paradigm shifts in approach to mission
7. Closure of institutions and withdrawal or transfer of mission to local inhabitants
8. Effects of enculturation and syncretism on beliefs about Our Lady in the region
9. Current religious demography and state of devotion to Our Lady in the region
10. Present needs, challenges and hopes for the future

I am planning to have my research on the Caribbean translated into Spanish and to invite a Sister in Mexico to research and co-author the study on the Mexican missions with me.  I want to interview some of the Sisters with lived memories of what happened and get their views of the political turmoil of the revolution and its aftermath.  I will be reporting my findings here.