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28 de septiembre de 2015 | Volumen 90, Número 24


Do not Google translate my culture — part 2

If I saw a Starbucks sign literally translated into Spanish, as “Éxito Aquí”, does this mean that I exit here or I find success here? If I translated Spanish sayings such as “Con dinero baila el perro”, “Meter la pata” and “Te crees la ultima coca-cola en el desierto” am I really saying “The dog dances with the money“, “Putting in the paw” and “You believe yourself to be the last coca-cola in the desert”? If there is a sign that plainly states “Do not enter here”, can anyone place an “O” at the end of every word and translate it as “Entero Somewhero Elso”? While it is very funny observing the differences between the English and Spanish language, it can also create an unwanted barrier between two complex cultures common to this great country we call the United States. The Hispanic culture, in its own complexity, has a unique expression that presses forth in its use of devotions, traditions and faith. First, second, and third generation Hispanics inherit these ideals and customs throughout their lives, shaping their identities. At the same time, they are also growing up to be efficient members of a society that will teach them the practicality of consolidation and advancement to bigger and better things. Although a person can successfully integrate two cultural ways, those ways have to be pieced together perfectly, recognizing that each distinct world has its own unique merits.

Picture a one thousand-piece puzzle box that has no image of the assembled puzzle on its lid. You open the box and the pieces have distinct shapes that are incomplete but contain the essential design that help you distinguish how to connect them.

You find pieces of similar colors, shapes and sizes and group them together, helping you consolidate and structure how you will attack the puzzle. You make various piles with similarities and differences. Setting your eyes on one pile you start putting them together. In the process, pieces are forced together out of frustration or impatience. You might step away for a bit or take time to do other things while the puzzle remains unfinished. But it lingers in your subconscious, remaining there for you to complete.

Metaphorically, this is what we go through as Hispanic Americans. We live and understand the different pieces and the elements that encompass the puzzle. Their shape and designs are a reflection of our experiences. In carrying our devotions, traditions and faith, we are aware that there is something beyond us that is perfect and absolute. We group our moments and pile them up with the hope of eventually finding out how they might fit into the greater scheme of things. In the process, we Google translate these pieces, making them fit into spaces they were obviously not meant for, creating a bigger mess than ever anticipated. However, with much patience and diligence, this task can be accomplished effortlessly if one part remains a constant: the understanding of the Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ, within itself, is the great puzzle we are part of everyday. As dynamic individuals constantly having one foot in the Hispanic world and the other in the American one, it can be a daunting task to make sure one does not constantly end words with an “O”. At the same time we must keep the American sensibility alive and well in our lives. While the Body of Christ does not literally translate into cultural similarities and differences between these two cultures, it does help us spiritually explore a plethora of possibilities that can help bridge gaps that might divide us.

Let us embrace terminology such as “Adoración al Santísimo” and “Posadas”. Let us be pioneers in engaging our English speaking brothers and sisters so that neither we nor they Google translate our Church. Let us build our faith as the bridge that forever creates an everlasting bond for us all through Christ.


Horario de misas en español
Ciudad Parroquia Teléfono Hora
Bristol St. Anne 276.669.8200 domingo 2:00 pm
Charlottesville Church of the Incarnation 434.973.4381 domingo 1:30 pm
Christiansburg Holy Spirit 540.921.3547 domingo 1:00 pm
Clarksville St. Catherine of Siena 434.374.8408 domingo 1:00 pm
Danville Sacred Heart 434.792.9456 domingo 11:30 am
Hampton St. Joseph 757.851.8800 domingo 2:00 pm
Harrisonburg Blessed Sacrament 540.434.4341 domingo 1:00 pm y jueves 7:00 pm
Lovingston St. Mary 434.263.8509 domingo 11:30 am
Lynchburg Holy Cross 434.846.5245 domingo 2:00 pm
Marion St. John 273.783.7282 domingo 1:30 pm
Martinsville St. Joseph 276.638.4779 domingo 11:45 pm
Newport News Our Lady of Mount Carmel 757.595.0385 domingo 2:00 y jueves 6:30 pm
Norfolk Holy Trinity 757.480.3433 domingo 1:00 pm
Onley St. Peter the Apostle 757.787.4592 domingo 12:30 pm
Prince George Church of the Sacred Heart 804.732.3685 domingo 1:00 pm
Portsmouth Holy Angels 757.485.2142 domingo 1:30 pm
Richmond Area Sacred Heart
St. Augustine
Our Lady of Lourdes
St. John (Highland Springs)
804.232.8964 804.275.7962 804.262.7315
domingo 11:00 am, 1:00 pm y 5:00 pm
domingo 1:00 pm y 6:00 pm
domingo 1:00 pm
domingo 12:15 pm
Roanoke St. Gerard 540.343.7744 domingo 12:15 pm
South Hill Good Shepherd 434.447.3622 sábado 7:15 pm
Tappahannock St. Timothy 804.443.2760 domingo 12:00 pm
Virginia Beach St. Gergory
St. Luke
757.497.8330 757.427.5776 sábado 7:30 pm
domingo 12:00 pm
Wiliamsburg St. Bede 276.229.3631 domingo 2:00 pm
Woodlawn St Joseph 276.236.7814 domingo 2:30 pm, no hay misa en español el primer domingo del mes.

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