Las Guadalupan as Speak

  • Theresa L. Torres


Clara’s words are telling in that her story reveals what an essential role the social construction of religious and ethnic identity plays in popular Catholicism. The Shrine marks Our Lady of Guadalupe’s sacred dwelling for the Guadalupanas; it is their cultural and religious home. In the Shrine, the members of the society feel at home and sense a strong connection to Our Lady of Guadalupe, their past, and their families and friends. It connects the residents of the Westside, the parishioners with their Mexican identity and is a central part of their cultural memory. Clara’s words also reveal part of the tension found within her religious context: on one side to empower female agency, by giving her a sense of belonging and feeling supported, and on the other side, to limit it, allowing her to return to a childlike state. In this chapter, I present the data from the Guadalupanas collected through a questionnaire and personal interviews. In chapter 4, I analyze their interviews using grounded theory and develop salient themes that illustrate their central faith beliefs and practices.


Religious Belief Ethnic Identity Immigrant Woman Social Service Agency Civic Activity 
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  2. Robert I. Levy and Douglas W. Hollan, “Person-Centered Interviewing and Observation,” in Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, ed. H. Russell Bernard (Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press, 1998).Google Scholar
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  4. See also, Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Yolanda Tarango, Hispanic Women: Prophetic Voice in the Church (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1988).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Anita is referring to the apparitions at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. For more information, see Wayne Weibel, The Final Harvest (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 1999).Google Scholar

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© Theresa L. Torres 2013

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  • Theresa L. Torres

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