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July 2011

People, Places & Things

Mexico's Oldest English Mass — It's in Ajijic

By Judy King

This time of year between 50 and 70 English-speaking Catholics attend the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass celebrated by Ajijic's parish priest, Father Alfredo Areola Aguayo; during the winter high season that number swells to well over 200 celebrants. Even when the foreigners fill all of the ancient church's pews in February and March, don't make the mistake of thinking that these foreigners of the oldest and the largest English-speaking Catholic congregation in Mexico, are the driving force of the Ajijic Catholic community.

At a time in history when church attendance is dropping in towns and cities north of the border, Catholicism still thrives in Mexico. Recent statistics reveal that nearly 88% of all Mexicans are Catholic and 70% of those Catholics attend at least one Mass each week!

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