Church Aims to Integrate Cultures in Celebration (December 16, 2007)

This was my first freelance piece for NPR. I had moved to DC from Harrisonburg, VA and was interested in the way parts of the rural community were working to welcome and share resources and fellowship with the growing immigrant community. Most Hispanic immigrants in Harrisonburg were from Mexico, so it was easiest to rally a large turnout for events celebrating Mexican heritage.

Mexican Church Celebration Feature

“The Blessed Sacrament Church in Harrisonburg, Va. recently hosted the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe — a vibrant celebration of Catholic tradition and Mexican culture. Hispanics make up one-third of the church’s congregation. When Father Tom Mattingly became the pastor here in 2005, the English- and Spanish-speaking communities at the church rarely mixed. Mattingly has set out to integrate the two communities.”

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About gumshuz

I'm a writer and journalist living in Wyoming. Audio is my passion. My reporting has aired on Naitonal Public Radio, Wyoming Public Radio, BBC/PRI, APM and WAMU. My writing has been published in The News Leader, the Daily News-Record and The Star-Ledger. I deal in Americana and the human condition.
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