Religious Studies Fall2010

During fall 2010, students in the class Latino/Latina Religions are documenting the history of St. Mary’s College for Women and Pre-GED school at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas, which is experiencing a surge in Latino parishioners. Through work in the archives, interviews with Pre-GED School students and volunteers, and ethnographic work with the parish, the class will produce a history of the church and its programs that will enable the congregation to better understand its multicultural make-up, the historic trends that led to this make-up, and the relationship between the church, its programs and the surrounding community.

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Many rewards in the archives

Andi.jpg An update from Andi, a senior finance and sociology major:

If there remains to be any doubt that Saint Matthew’s Cathedral has been shaped by its community, I would recommend a visit to the archive room within the parish. Considering the various group options our class was presented with when it came to the service learning project, I found myself absolutely intrigued with the idea of being able to sort through the church’s archives.

It is no secret to those who know me that I am quite the history nerd. However, I had no idea that there would be so many documents available at my fingers, especially after the fire of 1860 that destroyed all church belongings and records that had been previously obtained by Saint Matthew’s Cathedral.

After spending a significant amount of time in the archive room over the course of several weeks, I can honestly say that the entire experience has been extremely rewarding – a fact that was confirmed last Thursday when our class made a presentation to the congregation of Saint Matthew’s.

There is still so much that I haven’t even come close to uncovering, and although the information is endless, I feel as if I have learned so much about the history of the parish. To anyone who is interested in the archive room, I would highly suggest a visit; it will be worth your while.

Hopefully the work that myself and my group members have already accomplished has established a foundation that can be built upon as time goes on. There is still so much that can be learned from the documents within the walls of the archive room.

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