The Catholic Church’s greatest evangelizing project began on January 6, 1494. On that date—the Feast of the Epiphany—a few Franciscan missionaries on the island of Hispaniola held the continent’s first Mass.
That modest ceremony set off a spectacular half-millennium of growth for the church in Latin America: by 2004, there were more than 450 million Catholics in the region (approximately 80 percent of the total population), and Catholicism...
The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.
Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.
Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.