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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Putting it all together

Mary-1.jpgAn update from Mary, a senior Latin American studies major and a dance minor:

As the semester is coming to an end with only a few weeks left, our class is beginning to come together and share all that we have learned about St. Matthew’s history and more. Last week we faced the daunting task of coming up with a thesis that incorporates all of our areas of research to present to the community at St. Matthew’s.

After an hour and a half of debate, we decided upon: “In response to changing borders at and around 5100 Ross Avenue, the parishioners, community, and institution of St. Matthew’s Cathedral have made various efforts to cultivate a vital faith community.” Now, each of the three research groups will gather their information and write about 10 to 15 pages describing what they have found with this thesis in mind. We will then combine all of them to present a final paper.

On Thursday, December 2, we have the opportunity to present and discuss with the community of St. Matthew’s all that we have discovered. It will be an exciting evening to finally come together and meet the community as a whole! This entire service-learning experience has been truly wonderful. Though difficult at times, I have learned more than I imagined through interacting with the Dallas community and my fellow classmates.

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