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Las Caminatas por la Paz y las Misas del Barrio: How Nonviolent Practices in East Los Angeles Witness to the Kin-dom of God

June 6-9, 2019
Catholic Theological Society of America
Pittsburgh, PA

This paper details two popular Catholic practices—las caminatas por la paz (the peace walks) y las Misas del barrio (neighborhood Masses)—that witness to the reality of the Kin-dom of God.  Drawing on two winters of field research in an East Los Angeles Catholic parish, I highlight the tensions between the work of a parish that has partnered with their local police department for over thirty years, in the hopes of bringing gang violence in their neighborhood to an end, and the fatal violence that police department perpetrated against a 14-year-old boy in August 2016.