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The Joy of Y'at Catholicism [Paperback]

Our Price $ 12.71  
Retail Value $ 14.95  
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Item Number 427133  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   Pelican Publishing Company
ISBN  1589804104  
EAN  9781589804104  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

Just as all Y'at Orleanians know dat a true miracle is a Catlick family wid less than five kids, and da priesti s benediction is da starting block for da mad dash to da parking lot, now deyi ll know dat if derei s ever an archbishop of Yi ats, iti ll be Earl Higgins--excuse me, Oil Higgins.-- Angus Lind, New Orleans Times-Picayune

New Orleans culture is a fusion of secular and holy. From the earliest days of the community founded on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Catholic faith has been an influence on, and inspiration for, daily life. To be sure, religious rites such as weddings, funerals, and feast day festivals transpire elsewhere in the country. In New Orleans, however, they are celebrated with a zeal and verve that speaks to the uniqueness of the community.

Earl Higgins amuses us with those quirky, sometimes paradoxical, customs that define modern New Orleans life. He humorously explains why the answer to the question 'Where did you go to high school?' is a better identifying characteristic of a New Orleanian than a thumbprint. What's in a name? Many New Orleans streets and one local bayou bear the names of Catholic saints. Louisiana's civil districts are parishes, not counties, bearing testimony to the strong congregational life of the region's founding fathers.

Holidays take a twist as New Orleanians observe Christmas, but just as importantly, Twelfth Night, which ushers in the Carnival season and ultimately Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Meatless Fridays and the Creole culinary tradition of Holy Thursday's gumbo zi herbes hail from religious observances connected with Lent.

The term y'at is an affectionate nickname proudly worn by some New Orleanians. Higgins, a proud Jesuit High School blue jay and y'at, explains how all these Catholic customs and traditions have blended throughout history to create a unique lifestyle and shorthand language found only in New Orleans.

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More About Earl J. Higgins

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! A native New Orleanian, Higgins is retired from the United States Navy as well as from a career as assistant director of staff attorneys with the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. He is a volunteer at a local national park and writes a column for the Delta Sierran, a bimonthly publication of the Sierra Club. Earl J. Higgins lives in River Ridge, LA.

Earl J. Higgins currently resides in River Ridge, in the state of Louisiana.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [4003  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Travel > United States > States > Louisiana > New Orleans   [23  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Light-hearted window into the unique brand of NOLA Catholicism  Dec 2, 2008
New Orleans is so fascinating to so many people because it is so complex. In so many ways it is not quite an American city, but neither is it fully Caribbean or French. It stands alone in terms of its cuisine, its architecture, its people, its parades, its customs, etc. This is especially true in its religion.

On one hand, New Orleans is by far the least 'churched' city in the South. On the other hand it has a profoundly Catholic flavor and loyalties. Its unique calendar, its street and neighborhood names, its setup -- all point to a Catholic shape, and a highly quirky one at that.

This book is a delightful look at the beautiful and absurd nature of NOLA's unique brand of religious traditions. Earl J. Higgins clearly loves both his Catholic faith and his city. He is in his 60s, and did both his BA and JD degrees locally at Tulane. He served in the US Navy reserve and as a US District Court staff attorney in NOLA. And he's gone to NOLA churches his whole life.

The book is light-hearted, even goofy and trite at times, but packed full of folklore, social commentary and great information. From his hysterical introduction to weird NOLA vocabulary to his final conclusion that "God is a Y'at," you'll find this book as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
Loved it!  Jul 26, 2007
I have lived in AZ for 35 years but am a New Orleans native. If anyone wants insight into the uniqueness of the New Orleans brand of Catholicism, buy this book. In parts, I laughed until I cried--I remembered so many of these traditions from my childhood. A quote that stuck with me from the book was from a Jewish lawyer who said, "In New Orleans even the Jews are Catholic!"
The Best New Orleans Book in Many Years  Jul 13, 2007
When the founders of New Orleans designed the city, they placed a church, St. Louis Cathedral, at the center, and then put government buildings on each side. This is how New Orleans is. Catholicism is the center of the city, so much so that it divides the government from itself. It is impossible to understand New Orleans without understanding its Catholic roots.

The Joys of Y'at Catholicism explores both the historic and modern Catholic church in the city, and does so with wry humor. At times Higgins can be a little too indulgent -- implying that some characteristics of NOLA Catholicism are unique to the city when they are not -- but for the most part this is a wonderful look at what makes New Orleans special. NOLA Catholicism is different from Catholicism elsewhere, and this is the joy of this book.

I have been looking for a long time for a book I could recommend to visitors as the definitive New Orleans book. In fiction there are many choices, including Confederacy of Dunces and the Moviegoer, but in non-fiction I have found nothing quite as good as this. I recommend it to everyone who wants to understand the soul of the Big Easy.
By a non-cradle Catholic  Jul 4, 2007
This is a wonderful insight into the religious fabric and culture of New Orleans, pre-Katrina. It is also a fairly accurate chronological history of New Orleans Catholicism as it influenced the schools and citizens of New Orleans both Catholic and non-catholic. Told in a sometimes comical and satirical manner, the author points out not only the serious side of being Catholic in "the city that care forgot." but the numerous absurd beliefs, where they came from, and how they were adopted without being questioned. Similar in nature to "A Confederacy of Dunces" you might get a deeper appreciation of the book had you either lived or at least visited New Orleans.

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