Some interesting background and context, from RNS:
Throughout the different stages of the pandemic, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mecca — a largely Latino migrant town in Southern California’s Coachella Valley — distributed face masks and food, hosted COVID-19 tests and advocated for the vaccine as soon as it became available.
The Rev. Francisco Valdovinos, who pastored the church, died of COVID-19 in January. His legacy has helped ignite a consciousness around public health and COVID-19 prevention among farmworkers and others. He mobilized the church as a central service site for pandemic assistance and many remember him as giving “his life for his people.”
To Luz Gallegos — executive director of TODEC Legal Center, an immigrant rights group in Southern California’s Inland Empire — the region’s Catholic diocese, coupled with public health leaders and community groups, was instrumental in helping her organization dispel misinformation and increase access to the vaccine in the region.
Gallegos sees priests such as Valdovinos as organizers who “have passed away exposing their life for their community.” Her own uncle, also a Catholic priest, died from the virus. And as Latinos, she said, “we’re so big on faith, but faith is not going to be a miracle.”
“If we’re not proactive and take the vaccine, the miracles are not going to just come,” said Gallegos, who is Catholic.
When considering the United States’ major religious groups, Latino Catholics are among the most vaccinated…
…To Jonathan Calvillo, a sociology of religion professor at Boston University, Catholic social teaching serves as an “important theological foundation” for Latino Catholics in “addressing the pandemic as a matter that is affecting the most vulnerable.”