.- The “Guadalupan Torch Mexico-New York 2003” began yesterday in Mexico City, with a special Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Guadalupe. The race will bring together 5000 runners carrying a message of faith and support for undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States.
The race will end on December 12, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in New York, where thousands of Mexican immigrants will celebrate their patron.
Fr. Joel Magallán, president of the Tepeyac Association of New York, explained the race will pass through 27 cities and towns in Mexico as well as 33 cities on the East coast of the United States.
According to Fr. Magallán, the Guadalupan Torch will cross Mexico City on the first day, and in successive days pass through the cities of Morelos, Guerrero, Pueblo, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo and Veracruz.
The Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop of New York, Josú Iriondo, and concelebrated by Fr. Diego Monroy Ponce, rector of the Basilica of Guadalupe, and other priests as well.
Fr. Magallán said support for the race has been provided by people in Mexico through donations of food, water and other provisions, basic services and money for transportation.