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Patrick Flood

COMM 2150
Project #1
My personal religion is Christianity, and I am a member of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This last week I attended a Catholic Mass
service and focused this project on that.

Catholicism is a very old and ancient religion. In fact many


denominations and churches sprouted from teachings and beliefs that are
apart Catholicism. Catholicism comes from the Catholic Church. The Catholic
Church, otherwise called the Roman Catholic Church, is led by the pope. It is
technically the biggest Christian church, with more than 1.27 billion
individuals worldwide. (News, BBC, 2016, p 1-2). As one of the most ancient
religious organizations in the world, this religion is very popular in western
Christianity.

One of the main beliefs in Catholicism is the believe in the Trinity. That
there is one supreme being or God. In their belief, God is the following three:
a Heavenly Father, the Savior of our world, and as well as the Holy Spirit
(that is omnipresent but is not physically visible). (Staples, Tim, 2014, N.p.).
Another very main belief in Catholicism is their belief in communion.
Communion is a ritual or act that they do during mass services. In the witch
they have a cracker like thing called the Eucharist, as well as a goblet of wine
and the priests will bless it and they believe that the Eucharist and the wine

after being blessed is turned into the body and blood of their God, Jesus
Christ, the savior of the world.

As I attended the Catholic mass meeting this last week, I had the
opportunity to witness communion for myself. I was able to see what it was
like and how was the ritual was performed and out the other members
participated in this act. I noticed that almost all were very attentive and were
focusing well on what was being said and the blessing and with the priest
were saying during the communion ritual. After the Eucharist and wine is
blessed all the members then stand in line behind the priests and they all
were partaking of the wine and Eucharist.

Along with communion they also had some spiritual thoughts or


speeches by the priests. There were two priests, they both spoke on things
that were happening in the world today. They spoke of guidance and spiritual
advice for the members that they were addressing. They addressed to the
members how the members can find peace in their daily lives by trusting in
there God and in the holy communion that they participate in.

The value theory that I chose to focus on is Value Orientation by


Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, but more specifically one of the five questions
that they say all members of cultural groups must answer, and that is "what
is the relationship between humans?" Now this value theory has these five

questions. The questions pose thoughts about humans versus nature and the
relationships between them as well as preference of personality and
orientation towards time. The purpose and asking these questions is to find
out the "pre-dominant values of that society.". As well as "what reinforces
certain cultural values.". (Martin & Nakayama, 2012, p 101). It then becomes
"a framework for understanding broad differences in values among various
cultural groups." (Martin & Nakayama, 2012, p 101).

In the question "The relationship between humans", I discovered through


Catholicism and in this mass service in particular, that an answer to that
question is found in their individualism and how their cultural values
influence patterns of their communication. One of the priests talked
specifically about how some crazy things may be happening in the world but
the members of the church should not worry completely on those things that
are happening but rather focus on their own lives and more specifically
themselves and their personal spiritual growth before worrying about others
and the things that are happening on the outside. This is an example of how
this cultural value or the answer to this question of the relationship between
humans affect members of this church. They tend to be more individualistic
(in a positive way) before reaching outside of that.

Before attending this mass service of the Catholic Church my attitude was
slightly negative only because I am a firm and strong believer in my own

church and gospel that I learn. So going to other churches is something I


never want to do because i'm not planning on ever changing my beliefs.
I knew a little bit about Catholicism before I attended the service and did
more research. But something that I did learn in this service was the
attentiveness and the unity that to this church has even know there are so
many members scattered all around the world. The meeting that we went to
there were very few members there, but even with the very few members,
everybody was nice to each other. During the service there is a point where
they have everybody stand and greet one another. It was interesting to
witness that. I definitely learned of the kindness that they believe in and it
was emulated in the service.
As the mass service progressed, I was feeling better about the idea to
visit just because I can see other peoples perspective on things and it's just
interesting to me. My attitude towards my unbelief against others is still the
same. I still have a firm and strong believer in my own, but it was interesting
to see the perspective and the beliefs of others through this project. The
kindness and greeting that I felt that the service was nice to witness as well.
The understanding of Kluckhohn and Strodtbecks emphasis on cultural
values helped me understand a better perspective about the Catholic
Church. With their question what is the relationship between humans I
noticed what it said in the book. When it states "Individualism, is often cited
as a value held by European Americans, that places importance on the
individuals rather than on families, workteams, or other groups... this

characteristic is often cited as the most important European American


cultural value." (Martin & Nakayama, 2012, pp 104-105) I made a connection
between that and the holy Communion that Catholicism participates in.
While the religion teaches many family oriented things it's interesting to see
that one of their most sacred and holy rituals that they do is very individual
based. For example, you cannot take communion or participate in that act for
another person according to their belief. It is done solely by yourself for
yourself.
I feel like I can definitely relate this finding too many things in my life,
such as when working on a group project for an occupation or for school
applying individualism and the perspective that I learned from the Catholics
about working on your life before you help others, that is definitely
something that can come in handy. On the surface it may seem selfish but
you have to take care of yourself if you want to take care of others.

References

News, BBC. "How Many Roman Catholics Are There in the World?" BBC
News. N.p.1-2, 14 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
Staples, Tim. "Explaining the Trinity." Catholic Answers. N.p., 20 June
2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Value Orientation, Kluckholm & Strodbeck (Martin & Nakayama, 2012,


pp. 99-107)