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Boom: Thousands attend a Spanish language Catholic Mass in a former Baptist megachurch in Nashville

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 10/17/16

A sign of the times, via The Tennessean:

Every Sunday, the Catholic prayers and songs of the Sagrado Corazon congregation fill the 3,300-seat auditorium of a former Southern Baptist megachurch with the Spanish language. From young to old, members filled the pews on the lower level of the vast space and even spilled into the upper deck during a 10 a.m. service on a Sunday in October. The priest celebrated the Mass in Spanish from a platform at the front of the auditorium as the congregation stood, sang, kneeled and prayed in unison at various moments during the service. “There’s many, many more people that come to church now. It’s very emotional to me in a good way,” said Angel Lopez, a student at Stem Preparatory Academy who attends and helps out at the church. “It just has a lot of space. It just brings me up. A lot of people come. They hear what God has to say and it’s just like a honor to get this church.” The church’s weekend services draw thousands of Spanish-speaking believers like Lopez, reflecting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville’s thriving Hispanic ministry as well as the changing face of Middle Tennessee. With Nashville’s growth as a driver, the city’s Catholic community — once predominately Irish — has evolved in recent decades into a soundly multi-cultural church, Nashville Bishop David Choby said. “I find that really quite exciting because the very notion of the church being Catholic is its openness to people of all cultural backgrounds, of all ethnicities,” Choby said. “Now we find it expressed in the culture of many different countries.”

Check out the rest.

Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean

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