Celebrations of Our Lady of Guadalupe around the diocese

Observations on Our Lady Of Guadalupe Feast during December, a celebration deeply rooted In the heart of the Mexican immigrants

Father Fred Thelen, pastor Cristo Rey
In my 25 years at Cristo Rey, this year as been the very best of celebrations for our Lady of Guadalupe from beginning to end. We started with the first novena sponsored by the RCIA team and participants. Mariachi singers from Holland accompanied the rosary, and a reception with lots of food followed. The church was nearly full and that got the ball rolling in a big way. The novenas continued with lots of people coming every night. The Dec. 12 Mañanitas at 6:00 a.m. saw 100 people in attendance and the Knights of Columbus organized a great breakfast afterward. And of course the grand finale was the 7:00 p.m. Feast Day Mass, which is always the most special celebration honoring La Virgen. Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe!

Student intern for the Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Vicenta Vargas, a senior at the University of Michigan from St. Mary´s Student Parish in Ann Arbor
Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration this year was truly beautiful. We did a novena leading up to December 12th in which we prayed the rosary as a community and sang songs to Our Lady of Guadalupe from 6:30 to 7:30 each morning. On the 12th, we began mass by having Mariachi sing to her and then a group of us processed in with flags from each country of the Americas. This was a way to represent all of North, Central, and South America as one community to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The whole atmosphere was filled with joy and hope, and really brought that sense of community that Our Lady of Guadalupe wanted us to live in.

Andrea M. Rodriguez, a parishioner from Cristo Rey Parish
Cristo Rey Church has been celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe for more than 50 years. Being in the presence of our Holy Mother watching over us with tenderness, looking upon her face, radiates a feeling of her embrace and love; a sense of belonging and well-being; and pride in our culture and religion. Hundreds of people filled Cristo Rey Church throughout the days with devotional prayers, heartfelt singing, a joyful spirit, the aroma of roses, and a traditional feast. Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas!

Susana Chapa, coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry at the diocese
At St Joseph parish in St. Johns, Father Tim Nelson presided at a beautiful and moving ceremony for Our Lady of Guadalupe. With the generous help of the choir form Cristo Rey Parish, we sang with the sound of the guitars and the accordion to our Lady of Guadalupe. After singing, we prayed a rosary with five mysteries which were not the traditional, but each one of those reminding us about the apparition of our Lady in 1531 to Saint Juan Diego. After that, Father Tim presided at Mass and then we shared atole (a flavorful traditional Mexican drink made with cornstarch and milk), Mexican pastries and candy.

Gabriella Miranda from St. Joseph Parish in Howell
For me, there were three moments that made me feel proud of being a Guadalupan Mexican! First, the procession at the beginning of the Mass! Watching our community offering those roses full of love and hope, full of gratitude. Second, when father reminded us how fortunate we are because our heavenly mother had appeared in the Americas; she, who is our heavenly mother and she intercedes for us. And third, when during Mass I turned my head to see an American parishioner singing with so much joy!