Acculturation in Northfield: St. Dominic's 2003-2014

Photograph of Northfield Estates 1

Northfield Estates apartment complex.  Community members refer to this building as "apartamentos Dallas."

When Father Denny Dempsey arrived at St. Dominic’s Parish in 2003, the Spanish-speaking community looked very different than it had ten years earlier. The period of rapid immigration had slowed because the Mexican-American border became more difficult to cross (a contract with an illegal smuggler, a coyote, rose from five hundred to around four thousand dollars), and the United States’ economy had entered a period of recession. The church confronted new challenges.1

  1. Denny Dempsey, interviewed by Sarah Goldman, April 23, 2014.

Photograph of Viking Terrace 2

Homes in the Viking Terrace Mobile Home Park. The majority of the Latino Congregation lives in this neighborhood.

No longer preoccupied with concerns about the rising number of new congregants, St. Dominic's attention instead turned to integration, to disbanding what Father Denny refers to as the “Hispanic Island Community,” and to establishing cross-cultural relationships.  As Spanish-speaking congregants began purchasing homes, starting new families, and finding stable jobs, distinct and vibrant Latino communities emerged in Viking Terrace, Florella's Park, and Northfield Estates Apartments (Apartamentos Dallas).