Power of the Spirit, the latest work devoted to illuminating the history of the Portuguese in California, narrates the spiritual journey of the Portuguese immigrants in California who built many churches in their communities and of the clergy who lead them for over a century. It reveals how the Portuguese immigrants established themselves and prospered in the various areas of this immensely diverse state, with an insight into their spirituality as they planted roots deep into the American soil. Power of the Spirit documents the odyssey of a people and its courageous clergy in a conjugation of effort of epic proportions. Such effort was essential to their constructing of the many beautiful and inspiring Church buildings and supporting the clergy and religious who provided for the spiritual guidance to the Portuguese immigrant community dispersed throughout the vast Californian territory.
Power of the Spirit, coordinated and researched by Joe Machado, Ferreira Moreno and José do Couto Rodrigues, has been several years in the making; through their efforts and those of dozens of volunteer researchers and photographers, this much anticipated publication is now available from Portuguese Heritage Publications of California. From the Church of Immaculate Conception, Hawkinsville, in the north, to the Church of St. Agnes, San Diego, in the south, this hard cover, deluxe edition, highly illustrated with many historic photographs tells the stirring history of this important solace for the Portuguese in California.
At the core of the Power of the Spirit is the Catholic Church. The Portuguese, and especially the Azoreans, are among the most Catholic people of Europe, and the Catholic Church was the main pillar of the Portuguese community in the Old Country. Throughout the history of immigration to California, as soon as the immigrant survived the early trials of a new life, he quickly turned his resources to the one institution that could create a new equilibrium for him in America: the Church.
Whether laymen or clergy, Power of the Spirit: A Portuguese Journey of Building Faith and Churches in California pays humble homage to the Portuguese pioneer immigrants and all they have done to enrich the spiritual lives of Californians.
Given the fast approaching Holiday Season, Power of the Spirit is a great gift for family and friends, one they will keep as a reference for a long, long time.
Portuguese Heritage Publications of California, Inc. is a non-profit organization 501 c (3), created to research, preserve and disseminate vanishing memories and current relevant events about the Portuguese presence in California, for educational purposes.