December 18, 2012 // Uncategorized

‘Trusting in God’ theme of St. Adalbert School Mass, Las Posadas celebration

Annette Roman’s second-grade class from St. Adalbert School rehearses the retelling of the Nativity story for the upcoming Christmas School Mass on Dec. 20.

By Karen Clifford 

SOUTH BEND — Trusting in God will be highlighted at St. Adalbert School’s upcoming Mass and Las Posadas celebration. The Mass will be held at the parish on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m., with the Las Posadas celebration beginning at noon in the basement of the school the following day.

St. Adalbert School secretary and translator Rosalina Aguilar provides background on the Las Posadas celebration.

“Las Posadas is a religious tradition celebrated in connection with the Advent season. ‘Las Posadas’ translates into ‘the shelters’ in English. It is nine days of praying, signifying the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy,” says Aguilar.

Aguilar adds that Las Posadas also reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem for Roman Emperor Augustus’ census. “In the Latino tradition, families gather, sing, pray and share food and fellowship on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas,” she notes.

Las Posadas is observed at St. Adalbert School with a student reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place for Mary to give birth to the Blessed Savior.

School Advisory Board member Albina Robledo explains that St. Adalbert students and families have their own special traditions of the celebration. “A reception follows Las Posadas with the traditional piñatas, tamales, bunuelos and hot ponche. One of our main traditions is to sing to baby Jesus to go to sleep. If the children kiss the baby Jesus, then they receive a bag of goodies.”

Former student Jennifer Soto, currently a freshman at Saint Joseph High School and volunteer for St. Adalbert School, recalls that the reception “brought people together as a community.”

St. Adalbert School Principal Andrew Currier describes the ethnic importance of the Las Posadas celebration. “Las Posadas strengthens the St. Adalbert community because it is a project of the parents in connection with the school and it is intended to benefit the students, who are primarily (98 percent) Latino, and pass on the time honored tradition of Las Posadas here in the United States,” he explains.

Currier adds, “The integration of ethnic cultural tradition with Catholic religious tradition is a true strength of the universal Church and is a priority at St. Adalbert Catholic School where the school was very much a project of the Polish Catholic community over 100 years ago. Now the school celebrates both Polish and Mexican Catholic traditions.”

The Mass, on the evening of Dec. 20, will include student lectors, school choir members and gift bearers. In addition, Daniel Tostado, a staff member of Catholic Worker in South Bend, will direct students in a Nativity play during the Mass. Tostado says, “We’ll have a program that picks up where Las Posadas finishes: Jesus is born in the manger, and the shepherds and wise men come to visit, bearing gifts.”

The Mass is open to the public, while the Las Posadas celebration will be for St. Adalbert students and their families only.

St. Adalbert pastor Holy Cross Father Peter Pacini sums up the message of the Las Posadas celebration for students and their families. “Reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging on the eve of Jesus’ birth is a way for us today to connect with the very human experience of the Holy Family. This tradition is especially good for children, because it helps them to relate to Jesus and His parents as real people who struggled through life just as they and their families do.”

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