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jennifer rose

Jan 20, 2007, 8:59 AM

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Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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In my part of town are a number of convents, and the nuns wear the habit on the street. I'd thought that Mexico relaxed the prohibition against wearing clerical garb in public, but when I asked about when that happened, two friends, who know more about these things than I, declared that the law has never been changed. I could've sworn that I'd read that it had. So, what is the authoritative answer -- has it or hasn't it?



Rolly


Jan 20, 2007, 9:09 AM

Post #2 of 34 (5199 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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My understanding, not authoritative, is that nuns may wear their habits in public, but priests may not.

Rolly Pirate


jennifer rose

Jan 20, 2007, 10:52 AM

Post #3 of 34 (5183 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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I hate to post a question and then answer it myself. But I have been reminded that the changes took place during the Salinas Administration, allowing the church to own property, priests to vote, and religion to be taught in private schools.


gringolandia

Jan 20, 2007, 12:31 PM

Post #4 of 34 (5164 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Here in little old Jocotopec...the priest walks the local streets, in full priestly garb, ringing a bell to call attention to? But my point is...his outfit is fully visible to all and no one suggests he dress in civvies.


esperanza

Jan 20, 2007, 1:14 PM

Post #5 of 34 (5154 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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CAVEAT: Information about Catholicism, dead ahead. Skip it if it's not your cup of tea.

Mexico is one of the most Roman Catholic countries existing today. Nevertheless, the Mexican Constitution is atheistic, insisting on complete separation of Church and State. For that reason (and because the action showed fealty to a power other than himself), much of Mexico was scandalized when former president Vicente Fox, early in his term, was granted an audience with the Pope and kissed his ring.

During the Cristero Wars here in Mexico, it was illegal and dangerous to wear clerical garb in the street. Nuns and priests were persecuted and many killed for their beliefs. In recent years, many Mexican martyrs have been canonized (named saints of the Church) by Pope John Paul II. Many of the martyrs were from the state of Jalisco, primarily in Los Altos.

A lot of new things happened in the Roman Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council, which closed in 1965. Pope John XXIII had called on the church to 'open its windows', and it did so with vigor.

Among many, many other changes, in the United States, many priests and nuns discarded their clerical garb in favor of more liberal street clothes. Some more conservative orders of nuns retained the habit. That's still the practice today, although often even nuns in old-style habits are extremely liberal in questions of social justice, etc.

Here in Mexico, the reverse happened. Because civil law prohibits nuns and priests from wearing habits and cassocks on the street, the more liberal orders began to defy the law by wearing their clerical garb. The more conservative orders, particularly of nuns, kept on wearing their street clothes so as not to run afoul of the law.

I am not aware of an instance since the Cristero Wars ended in the 1930s when a priest or a nun has been cited for wearing clerical garb. However, as far as I know, the law has not been changed.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jan 20, 2007, 1:18 PM)


johanson


Jan 20, 2007, 1:47 PM

Post #6 of 34 (5140 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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There was a Catholic Priest from the Seattle Archdiocese who was TDY to the Guadalajara Archdiocese and assigned to Ajijic last year. I knew him from Seattle and he came to me for tech advise when here in Ajijic. And I asked him why he was never in clerical garb now that he was in Mexico. He said he wasn't allowed to be. He didn't explain why.


jennifer rose

Jan 20, 2007, 3:28 PM

Post #7 of 34 (5122 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Are you saying that the anticlerical laws were not reversed during the Salinas Administration to permit nuns and priests to wear clerical garb in public? Writing at http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/history/jtuck/jtsalinas.html, Jim Tuck seems to think otherwise.


song_of_joy

Jan 20, 2007, 4:11 PM

Post #8 of 34 (5109 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Sadly, Jim is no longer here to clarify this, but he was a true scholar and widely read intellectual who researched each article.


tonyburton


Jan 20, 2007, 5:00 PM

Post #9 of 34 (5090 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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My understanding had been that an "accommodation" was reached between the church powers and the Salinas administration - i.e. along the lines that the law would remain the law, but that there was no way it would ever actually be enforced... Does anyone know for sure?


Papirex


Jan 20, 2007, 5:50 PM

Post #10 of 34 (5074 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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I too believed that the laws prohibiting the wearing of any type of religious clothing had been repealed. I read an article to that effect in the old newspaper “The News” 6 or 8 years ago. Of course I don’t remember if the article gave any authoritative attribution.

I have never noticed any priests, or ministers, wearing a clerical collar, or any nuns wearing a habit in public here in Cuernavaca, but I do remember seeing a group of Jewish people in a supermarket here in Cuernavaca 5 or 6 years ago. There were 8 or 10 men among them, all wearing Yarmulkes. Wearing a Yarmulke in public was also prohibited under the old laws. All the men seemed to be relaxed, I didn’t think they were trying to make any kind of a statement or have a demonstration.

Whether the laws have been nullified or not, it seems like the Mexican government is finally coming to grips with reality.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


esperanza

Jan 20, 2007, 6:16 PM

Post #11 of 34 (5059 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Here's what I know about the constitutionality of Church/State relations in Mexico.

1. The Constitución de 1852 insisted on the supremacy of civil law in Mexico and attempted to secularize society, reducing the power of the Church.

2. The Constitución de 1917 (the current Constitucíon Mexicana) not only continued the laws of the Constitución de 1852 but extended them to limit the use of Church power and its ability to act, as the Church was seen to be part of the domination of the former colonization of what the Spanish called New Spain.

3. The laws of the Constitución de 1917 were in effect until 1992. The laws denied all legal character of the Church, deprived all priests and nuns of civil and political rights (i.e., they could not vote or hold office), they expressly forbade all ministers of the Church (i.e., all priests and nuns) to criticize the government in any way or to speak in favor or against any government official or anyone running for political office. The laws forbade any sort of religious education, including religious education in private schools, the Church could not acquire, possess, or administer any real estate. The laws further forbade any external manifestation of Church affiliation--i.e., the public wearing of clerical garb. The laws applied to the Roman Catholic Church and all other religious affiliations in Mexico.

4. The government's administration of these sections of the Constitución de 1917 led to the Guerras Cristeras--the wars in Mexico for the right of religious expression.

5. From before the time of his election in 1990, Carlos Salinas de Gortari advocated a new relationship between the State and the Church. In part, this was due to the increased power of the Church in Mexico, which had risen in power since the 1960s due to the deteriorating economic and political systems in the Republic. Salinas and the PRI presidency wanted to "normalize" the relationship between the State and the Church, not for the good of the people but rather for highly political reasons. After a variety of agreements between the government and Church officials, Mexico re-established diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

6. The new agreements included: (a) the government recognized the legal character of the Church; (b) restrictions against religious education disappeared; (c) nuns and priests were granted their civil right to vote as citizens (although they are still not allowed to hold public office); (d) the Church was given the right to own and manage real estate as it pertained to the Church; and (e) celebrations and other manifestations of Church affiliation (i.e., the wearing of religious garb) were reinstated.

It is important to note that these agreements were made by the hierarchical Church and then-president Salinas for political reasons that were important for both the Church and the State. These changes were not in fact changes to the Constitución de 1917 but were merely agreements between the Church leadership and President Salinas.

Translated and excerpted from Cambios Recientes en las Relaciones Iglesia-Estado en México Y Su Impacto en Los Derechos de las Mujeres by María Consuelo Mejía. Paper presented in the XXth International Congress for Latin American Studies, Guadalajara 1997.

In other words, the law is still in existence but, as Tony said, is not being enforced.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jan 20, 2007, 6:19 PM)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 20, 2007, 6:23 PM

Post #12 of 34 (5053 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Sounds like they were trying to "gringoize" the clergy........
Getting older and still not down here.


jennifer rose

Jan 20, 2007, 6:23 PM

Post #13 of 34 (5053 views)

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Re: [RexC] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Well, it looks like Rex of Cuernavaca wins the constitutional history prize.

In 1992, indeed during the Salinas Administration, the Mexican Constitution was amended. http://www.juridicas.unam.mx/infjur/leg/constmex/pdf/rc121.pdf:

Artículo 130.- El principio histórico de la separación del Estado y las iglesias orienta las normas contenidas en el presente artículo. Las iglesias y demás agrupaciones religiosas se sujetarán a la ley.

Corresponde exclusivamente al Congreso de la Unión legislar en materia de culto público y de iglesias y agrupaciones religiosas. La ley reglamentaria respectiva, que será de orden público, desarrollará y concretará las disposiciones siguientes:

a) Las iglesias y las agrupaciones religiosas tendrán personalidad jurídica como asociaciones religiosas una vez que obtengan su correspondiente registro. La ley regulará dichas asociaciones y determinará las condiciones y requisitos para el registro constitutivo de las mismas.

b) Las autoridades no intervendrán en la vida interna de las asociaciones religiosas;

c) Los mexicanos podrán ejercer el ministerio de cualquier culto. Los mexicanos así como los extranjeros deberán, para ello, satisfacer los requisitos que señale la ley;

d) En los términos de la ley reglamentaria, los ministros de cultos no podrán desempeñar cargos públicos. Como ciudadanos tendrán derecho a votar, pero no a ser votados. Quienes hubieren dejado de ser ministros de cultos con la anticipación y en la forma que establezca la ley, podrán ser votados.

e) Los ministros no podrán asociarse con fines políticos ni realizar proselitismo a favor o en contra de candidato, partido o asociación política alguna. Tampoco podrán en reunión pública, en actos del culto o de propaganda religiosa, ni en publicaciones de carácter religioso, oponerse a las leyes del país o a sus instituciones, ni agraviar, de cualquier forma, los símbolos patrios.

Queda estrictamente prohibida la formación de toda clase de agrupaciones políticas cuyo título tenga alguna palabra o indicación cualquiera que la relacione con alguna confesión religiosa. No podrán celebrarse en los templos reuniones de carácter político.

La simple promesa de decir verdad y de cumplir las obligaciones que se contraen, sujeta al que la hace, en caso de que faltare a ella, a las penas que con tal motivo establece la ley.

Los ministros de cultos, sus ascendientes, descendientes, hermanos y cónyuges, así como las asociaciones religiosas a que aquellos pertenezcan, serán incapaces para heredar por testamento, de las personas a quienes los propios ministros hayan dirigido o auxiliado espiritualmente y no tengan parentesco dentro del cuarto grado.

Los actos del estado civil de las personas son de la exclusiva competencia de las autoridades administrativas en los términos que establezcan las leyes, y tendrán la fuerza y validez que las mismas les atribuyan.

Las autoridades federales, de los estados y de los municipios tendrán en esta materia las facultades y responsabilidades que determine la ley.


esperanza

Jan 20, 2007, 7:46 PM

Post #14 of 34 (5026 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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How odd that a professional paper--the one I quoted--stated that the Constitution had not been amended, but that it was simply 'un arreglo'.

Sorry to have mislead everyone, and thanks, Jennifer.

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sfmacaws


Jan 20, 2007, 8:04 PM

Post #15 of 34 (5013 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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e) Los ministros no podrán asociarse con fines políticos ni realizar proselitismo a favor o en contra de candidato, partido o asociación política alguna. Tampoco podrán en reunión pública, en actos del culto o de propaganda religiosa, ni en publicaciones de carácter religioso, oponerse a las leyes del país o a sus instituciones, ni agraviar, de cualquier forma, los símbolos patrios.


Bold is my emphasis. It would seem that the Bishop up in Coahuila who came out in opposition to gay civil union is cutting this one pretty close. He's also cutting it close with his intent to influence political decisions.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Oscar2

Jan 21, 2007, 9:07 AM

Post #16 of 34 (4967 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Last month when we were having a meal at an open air restaurant in Chapalita, Guadalajara, I asked if they served Huevos Rancheros, as well as tamales for breakfast and the proprietor quickly replied, en media cuadra, las monjas venden tamales. In other words, he was encouraging us to buy the tamales from the nun’s and inviting us back to eat them at his restaurant with the balance of the meal ordered.

Not being to familiar with Mexico’s religious customs as well as I probably should be, I figured, the monjas probably make a small subsidy to cover small additional expenses. I don’t think so, because the next morning with a hankering for tameles with huevos rancheros, we walked the extra cuadra to the nunnery, or what ever the building was with a non-descript sign which unpretentiously just said Tamales.

We walked in through this corridor kind of thing where we could see a bunch of ladies working and looking very busy. It was like in a homespun factory with emissions of cooking smoke meant to produce a handy profit with a variety of other Mexican favorites beside tamales. The place was very busy and customers kept popping in and some from community organizations with very large boxed orders.

The only thing one could distinguish from the lady, who politely enquired, (Te puedo ayuda), was that she had a kind of a hair net around her head. To this day, I don’t know if it was a hint of a habit or one of those mandatory legal things such as NoB where hair and beard nets are required, but nonetheless, she gave us a list of the cooked foods available in their factory/nunnery.

Knowing how difficult it is to find a good tamale, we sat down and picked through half of one she gave us but instead opted to get something else. We ordered a few of those large circular, crispy things that look like a large tortilla. I think they call them bonuelos? Which were very tasty.

I guess the bottom line is, I was not aware, nor have I ever seen an on-going enterprise such as I seen in Chapalita, where the nuns were entrepreneurs of sorts. Personally I liked what I seen and feel it’s enterprising and probably more of it should exist for the sake of charity ... of course.


esperanza

Jan 21, 2007, 9:51 AM

Post #17 of 34 (4955 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Oscar, nuns all over Mexico earn money by selling comestibles of various sorts. A couple of weeks ago I was walking around in the old village of Zapopan and happened upon an open cochera door with a long folding table set up in the driveway. Nuns were johnny-on-the-spot, selling rosca de reyes for January 6. The roscas looked delicious, the labels were professional, and the nun staffing the table gave me a little flyer about their annual business. I couldn't buy one this year, but primeramente Dios I'll have one of theirs on the table for next year.

In San Miguel de Allende, nuns sell baked goods outside the Parroquia. Mexican nuns were among the first purveyors of rompope, that deliciously alcoholic bottled eggnog. The famous dulcerías of Puebla originated in convents. Keep your eyes peeled while you're in Mexico and you'll see lots of other evidence of nuns in business!

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Ed and Fran

Jan 21, 2007, 11:00 AM

Post #18 of 34 (4936 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Mexican nuns were among the first purveyors of rompope, that deliciously alcoholic bottled eggnog.


And they still do that. We've purchased a bottle or two from their little stand at the entrance to the atrio of the ex-convento of San Francisco, on Calle Madero, in the shadow of the Torre Latinoamericana in Mexico City.

Regards

E&F


lajollamis


Jan 21, 2007, 11:09 AM

Post #19 of 34 (4930 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Hola!

Jennifer is correct. Y'all need to get a copy of Opening Mexico, by two Pulitzer Prize winners from the New York Times, Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon. They have headed up the Times Latin American bureaus, and have spent twenty five years living and breathing Mexican and Latin American politics.

Within it's covers you will find a real page turner that will set you straight on many of the confusing issues of Mexican history during the nation's pursuit of democracy. I was amazed by this book and I was born in Mexico.

I have recommended this book to several of my Michoacan friends and they agree.

Mary Lou (a.k.a. Maria Luz)
Live life well!!!


Oscar2

Jan 21, 2007, 11:50 AM

Post #20 of 34 (4905 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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A couple of weeks ago I was walking around in the old village of Zapopan


Ah, Esperanza, I like what you said about the nun’s expansion throughout Mexico. I was totally unaware of this enterprise. When I visited a very large and old Basílica in Zapopan on an invitation from a friend on this last visit to see their young adult daughter perform in a professional exhibition of their excellent Flamingo dancing skills, I was also very impressed with the antiquity and stature of the Basílica.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think the nuns I seen there did attire themselves in habits and even perhaps tending to one of the many open market place stands aligned within this village large square in front of the Basilica. The name of this impressive Basilica escapes me but I think it may be the largest and perhaps one of the oldest in that vicinity. Photo included.

In addition the deeply entrenched Mexican flavor and atmosphere, along with my first time try of eating Pozole, was indeed memorable.

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jan 21, 2007, 11:57 AM)
Attachments: IMG_1878.jpg (60.0 KB)


esperanza

Jan 21, 2007, 3:46 PM

Post #21 of 34 (4867 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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That's the Basílica of Our Lady of Zapopan, Oscar. It's the only basílica in Zapopan.

A basílica is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to a special purpose, in this case the veneration of this particular apparition of the Virgin Mary. The 16th Century figure of Our Lady of Zapopan, made of pasta de caña (a paste made from the insides of corn stalks) and covered with gesso and polychrome, is said to be the second-most venerated Virgin in Mexico, following Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her feast day is October 12. On that day, her image is carried from the metropolitan Cathedral in Guadalajara's historic center to her basílica. Every year, nearly two million people follow her on foot to her home in Zapopan. The rest of the year she travels from parish to parish in the archdiocese of Guadalajara, visiting the faithful.

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(This post was edited by esperanza on Jan 21, 2007, 4:04 PM)


jennifer rose

Jan 21, 2007, 5:12 PM

Post #22 of 34 (4840 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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Let's not forget how the nuns of Puebla invented mole. Nuns in Mexico, like just about anyplace else, engage in a variety of remunerative activities. Within a stone's throw of where I live in Morelia, nuns teach, run a dairy, embroider, take in sewing, make candied skulls for Muertos, and one order even throws parties. I don't know which order the party-giving nuns belong to, but they have a beautiful house with extensive gardens for quiet, elegant gatherings.


esperanza

Jan 21, 2007, 5:24 PM

Post #23 of 34 (4834 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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And I know Mexican nuns (in one order alone) who are doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, dentists...nuns do more than just pray on their knees. WAY more!

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wendy devlin

Jan 22, 2007, 7:44 AM

Post #24 of 34 (4774 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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And the Irish-born beer drinking, pick-up truck driving nuns of Santa Maria del Oro, Nayarit!

Their work, visiting isolated Huichol ranchos, dispensing medical information and aid, mixed with learning and incorporating traditional healing practices.

To people too impoverished to make long trips to towns with doctors.

http://www.mexconnected.com/...lin/wdespectac5.html


esperanza

Jan 22, 2007, 7:54 AM

Post #25 of 34 (4765 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Clerical Garb, a Matter of Habit?

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...perform in a professional exhibition of their excellent Flamingo dancing skills...


Oscar, that would be flamenco dancing. Google it.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com







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