Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
December 13, 2016 // Uncategorized

Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe recalled with Masses, festivities

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

Children and adults at St. Joseph Parish, LaGrange, dress like the Aztecs at a Mass held Dec. 11 in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s 1531 appearance to St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in what is today Mexico City. — Stephanie A. Patka

By Claire Kenney

The traditional image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as she appeared to the indian and Catholic convert St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was displayed at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, North Manchester, and stood witness to the weekend celebration of her feast day.

Across the diocese, remembrances of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe took place in fervent and festive form Dec. 10-12 despite a winter-weather challenge. St. Robert Bellarmine, North Manchester, and St. Dominic, Bremen, were among the many Hispanic parishes where the sounds of worship, traditional Mexican “Mañanitas” song and drumming rang out.

St. Robert Bellarmine has celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a parish community since 2012. Today it’s a popular tradition that has expanded to include a number of events. One of the reasons is the expanding Hispanic population within the parish.

“The celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe has become bigger as our Hispanic community grows,” St. Robert’s Pastoral Associate Isabella Duran-Price said.

Spanish Mass and a mariachi band appearance have remained staples since the first celebration. Last year, folkloric dance and a communal rosary were added.

This year St. Robert kicked off its celebration at 5 p.m. on the feast day, Monday, Dec. 12. A Spanish Mass was celebrated at 6 p.m., and a live mariachi band played from 7-10 p.m. The evening culminated with a firework display.

“This is such a meaningful celebration for everyone, not only because it means a lot to the Mexican parishioners, but also to the rest of the community,” Duran-Price reflected. “It is one of the most stunning visitations of our dear mother in the world. She is not only the patroness of Mexico, but the patroness of the New Evangelization, as the popes have said. She is our dear mother, always looking out for her most humble and suffering children.”

St. Dominic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with an afternoon potluck on Sunday, Dec. 11, in the parish’s St. Isidore Hall, and a 6 p.m. Spanish Mass the following day.

Approximately one-third of St. Dominic’s parish community is Hispanic, and several members of this Hispanic segment immigrated to the United States from small towns in Mexico.

According to a parish representative, the opportunity to celebrate a feast day that is so very important to the country of Mexico, where the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe occurred, means a lot to those members of the parish of Mexican descent.

Eighth-grade students students of Holy Family School and parish perform a reenactment of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s apparition at a Mass and celebration Monday, Dec. 12.

“Their faith and traditions run deep and strong.
They wish to continue celebrating Our Lady of
Guadalupe with music, dancing, food and fellowship, just as they have through the years.”

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