'Day of the Dead' ofrendas at CTU celebrate local theological cultures of Chicago Neighborhoods

Graduate ministry students, shown here, at CTU created an ofrenda after field research in Bronzeville. The images included photos of Fr. Augustus Tolton, Native American icons, and local artifacts, and revealed the 'local theology' of the neighborhood.
The ofrenda based on field research in the Pilsen neighborhood featured images of murals, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and local artists like Hector Duarte.

Graduate ministry students at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) on Oct. 24 created ofrendas -- altars -- commemorating the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 with a unique pastoral approach.

The altars depicted not only Mexican culture, for Dia De Los Muertos, but were based on field research by the students, locus theologicus, as directed by Rev. Dr. Eddie DeLeon, their CTU professor.

The four altars represented the local, pastoral situation on the ground in the Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen, a largely Mexican-American neighborhood; Humbolt Park, a predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood; Bronzeville, a historically black neighborhood; and Chinatown, where immigrant Chinese Catholics and descendants of Italian immigrants worship together.

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