January 2, 2024 // Diocese

Hispanic Youths Reenact Mary and Joseph’s Journey to Bethlehem

By Jocelyn Acala and Maria Solis

The Fort Wayne area jovenes (Hispanic young adults) worked together to put on a posada that was held on Thursday, December 21, at the Archbishop Noll Center in downtown Fort Wayne. The jovenes from the Alpha series (an evangelization program that includes a video, meal, and small-group discussion) came together to put on a posada that commemorates and celebrates the coming of Jesus.

Photos by Scott Warden
Hispanic youth lead a Christmas posada at the Archbishop Noll Center in downtown Fort Wayne on Thursday, December 21.

Posada is a Spanish word for “inn,” and the Posadas Navideñas, which recall events leading up to the Nativity of Jesus, are a focal point of Christmas traditions in Mexico. In the posada, the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in search of an inn is reenacted to commemorate their journey. On December 21, the night began by praying the Rosary along with Bishop Rhoades in the Noll Center Chapel. Following the Rosary, Bishop Rhoades offered his blessing upon the group.

Alicia Guzman (dressed as Mary), Jonathan Hernandez (dressed as Joseph), and Jose Solis (dressed as the donkey that carried Mary and Joseph) helped reenact the Holy Family seeking shelter at the inn. The reenactment included three songs that were sung in the procession to the banquet prepared by the Alpha jovenes.

Many of the families who attended the posada really enjoyed the gathering, particularly the Lopez family, who told Today’s Catholic that the event was “a great way to start the Christmas season in a community, and we hope this continues next year.”

The Bryan family said, “We love the fellowship and the reciting of the Rosary as a Catholic community, both English and Spanish.”

La Familia Lopez also mentioned that this event created an atmosphere of belonging and the coming together of many parishes. The family said the posada brought them and their daughters much joy in seeing everyone together and rejoicing in the Lord. They said they felt very welcomed and loved, and that the event impacted their faith. They said they hope the event becomes a Christmas tradition. Attendees told Today’s Catholic that the posada was a great way to end the Third Week of Advent as one community sharing joy and getting to know one another.

An estimated 100 people attended the posada, including five of the diocese’s seminarians who were on Christmas break. The night was filled with Mexican food, music, laughter, and treats. It concluded with the breaking of a pinata by the children in attendance.

Afterward, those in attendance enjoy a meal together.

The Alpha jovenes who helped make this event possible were Maria C. Solis, who organized the posada, as well as Maria G. Solis, Jose Solis, Jonathan Hernandez, Alicia Guzman, Caroline McMasters, Erika Martinez, Yesi Martinez, Carlos Leiva, Vanessa Vasquez, Troy Powell, Augusto Larrosa, and Karen Pantoja. It was overseen by Jocelyn Alcala, Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. Organizers said they were excited to see this fruit of the Alpha Program and invite any joven (Hispanic young adult) who is interested in participating in the weekly evangelization program to reach out to Alcala at [email protected].

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