Accepted paper:

Translating Roman Catholicism: the creation of Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy in Brussels


Hector Guazon (Saint Louis University)

Paper short abstract:

This study analyzes the idioms Filipino Catholics associate with Roman Catholicism to mark out their identity and, as they are translated in the context of the creation of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Brussels, embody the Filipino Catholics' self-interest in their handling of diasporic experience.

Paper long abstract:

Building on researches that problematize the ways in which Filipinos embrace in varying degrees Roman Catholicism, my study looks into the production of meanings Filipino migrants associate with Roman Catholicism for legitimizing the creation of the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy in Brussels, Belgium. As this study demonstrates, among the Roman Catholic principles and concomitant resources that Filipino Catholics translate, along with their fellow Filipinos in Brussels, "standing for the marginalized" becomes a potent force for church authorities as well as Filipino religious and civic leader's claim to cooperation, leadership, and dejection. However, this study shows that Filipino Catholics' translation is novel and particular even as it is shared by Filipino Catholics in Brussels. Hence, this study probes further the sociopolitical circumstances in Belgium and the interpersonal relations within the Filipino community that make the Filipino Catholics strategic in their moves in their want to create the Filipino chaplaincy in Brussels and, correspondingly, yield favorable results in their handling of their diasporic drama, given their social position. In doing so, this study provides a canapé on the malleability of Roman Catholicism in the lives of Filipino migrants who belong to the Filipino Catholic chaplaincy in Brussels, Belgium.

panel MMM32
Management of mobility in contemporary Europe: experiences and strategies of migration