A growing minority of Latinos are Protestant, but the vast majority remain Roman Catholic.
Like many other Catholics, they do not always observe all the church’s rules, but they get their kids baptized and often make financial sacrifices to send them to parochial school.
The Virgin Mary and the saints are honored with pictures and statuettes. The church’s fiestas, or feast days, are an important part of Hispanic American cultural life.
As the number of Hispanic Americans mushroomed since the 1950s, the Catholic church in the United States changed to keep up with them. In urban areas with large Latino populations, priests are often fluent in Spanish and churches offer weekly masses in Spanish, usually with vibrant Latino music.
About one-third of the nation’s 60 million Catholics are of Hispanic origin.