Jaime Lara is a professor at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven, Connecticut, and is a member of the Faith & Form editorial board. His most recent book is Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico (University of Notre Dame Press).
The U.S. is currently the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Many residents of New Mexico and the Southwest are proud to claim that their Spanish-speaking ancestors were landowners there for 200 years before the U.S. ever existed as a political entity; some Floridians and Louisianans could say the same. According to the 2000 census and the projection of experts on population growth and immigration, the Latino percentage of the nation’s population will continue to increase. This will have far-reaching consequences for multiculturalism, bilingualism, and catholicity in the wider sense of the word. What will this mean as religious communities become composed of a majority that is Hispanic or Hispanic American? Or how will religious communities attempt to embrace the gifts and cultural flavors of people who have immigrated from one of the 21 countries south of the border?