Spanish Language Catholic Press
Fr. Peter Daly
May 23, 2008
Forget Lou Dobbs.
If you really want to know what is going on with immigrants, read the Spanish language press.
This includes the Catholic Spanish press. These relatively new Catholic papers cover not only the Catholic Church, but the world of Latino immigrants overlooked by the mainstream press.
existence of the papers is itself a sign of our times. Today many dioceses now
have two papers: English and Spanish. The presence of a Spanish language
Catholic press shows what has happened to the Catholic Church in the
century ago, when I was growing up in ethnic
In the Archdiocese of Washington, we have two separate Catholic papers: The Catholic Standard, in English, founded in 1948, and El Pregonero (The Pilgrim) was founded in 1977.
El Pregonero competes
for readers in a crowed field. More than half a dozen Spanish language papers can
be seen in the paper boxes on street corners in
In a recent edition El Pregonero , showed a full page color photo of a demonstration of Mexican immigrants. The headline read (n Spanish) “The “Sin” of Being Undocumented.” It showed working men carrying crosses with the names of the nearly 100 immigrants who have died awaiting trial in jails run by U. S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They died because of a lack of medical care. Even though it was a CNS photo, I hadn’t seen the picture any English language Catholic publication.
The accompanying story and editorial focused on the moral issue of how we treat immigrants. That is a story you don’t see anywhere else.
Catholic Spanish language papers are much “newsier” than their English language diocesan cousins. In addition to the articles about the Pope’s visit and the reflections by the local bishop, they often have news of the wider world.
edition of El Pregonero had
articles about the constitutional referenda in
Locally there were also articles on the unsafe working conditions of construction workers. In our area, most laborers on big construction sites are Latino. There was also an article on a recent fire in a tenement building where many Latino migrants lived and a few died.
Even the classified ads are different in the Spanish Catholic press. For one thing, there are a lot more of them. There are many ads for jobs, mostly at entry level. There are also ads for services including immigration lawyers and English classes.
ad got my attention. It was for a fancy country club in suburban
I wondered if those same Congressmen who so often demagogue the immigration issue realize they are playing golf grass maintained by poor Catholic Latino immigrants. Many of the people who may answer that ad have committed the “sin” of being undocumented.
Sometimes there are new worlds right under our noses. The Spanish language Catholic press opens our eyes to a parallel universe.