(4) Five Wounds Church: Appraisal-Interpretation and MultiVocality


Visitors are meet at the church with the opportunity to self-explore. However, as it is see, there are no descriptions of the statues

The following are the results from our analysis of the MultiVocality of the site:

  • There is only one bus serving the entire neighborhood of Little Portugal. The only way a visitor can reach Five Wounds via public transportation is via the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus number 22, which runs along E Santa Clara Street (Santa Clara 2011). However, a proposed expansion of Bay Area  Rapid Transit is under way.
  • Parking lot is not big enough to accommodate all guest.
  • There are currently no visitor facilities and/or retail stores on the property.
  •  The visitors are not met by visitor guides, church leaders, or the pastor.
  •  The church does hold office hours for visitors. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm.  Moreover, visitors are allowed to explore the church without supervision.
  • A schoolhouse adjacent to the church graduated its last class in 2009. Since then, the educational opportunities have run dry. As a result, the facility is rented out to the highest bidder. Within the building there is a large cafeteria and a large venue ready for potential parties, festivals, and plays. Special privilege must be obtained to visit the schools; the space is not open to the public. A visitor might not be able to enter the school today, but they wouldn’t be missing much if they did.
  •  on the left hand side we find a smaller building that houses offices of the pastor and clergy. The building is also used by Saint Isabel’s Kitchen to provide food for needy families of San Jose.  Aside from the described usage there are no other usages of the building. The building is off limits to the public during non-usage hours and only accessible through Saint Isabel’s Kitchen or through special access via the church’s leadership.
  • Visitors are able to attend English mass on Sundays at 8am and 5:30pm, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am. Latin mass is given at 9:15am on Sundays and a Bi-lingual English/Portuguese mass is given on Saturdays at 6pm. In addition, visitors are able to confess on Saturdays from 5 to 6pm and any other times by appointments. In addition, if visitors want to hold their weddings, baptisms, etc. at the church they must contact the church three to six months ahead.
  • First, the church website is not appealing and is in need of further attention.
  • visitors at the church have no way of making sense of the stained glass windows, other physical aspects of the site or the long history of the church because no such material is available.
  • Five Wounds Church has become meaningful to the San Jose community Anyone who has created and experienced or a memory at Five Wounds is thus part of the community. The Vietnamese community in San Jose that also use the space for mass are thus part of the memory community of Five Wounds. In addition, community members also use the space to celebrate weddings, quinceañeras, baptisms, etc
  •  Of the multiple voices among key players, the older generation of Portuguese-Americans has had the most to say. It was not apparent whether they had strong feeling for the church because it has been a larger part of their lives when compared to the lives of the Portuguese youth, or because it

Beautiful Image without any description.


About Five Wounds Church

University of California, Berkeley Anthropology Department

Posted on May 13, 2011, in Anthro136k-spring2011-UC-Berkeley, Anthro136kSp11, Five-Wounds-Church-San-Jose, Microhistories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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