Loading
Hundreds attend celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe
Photo Credit: Catholic Sun
Photo Credit: Catholic Sun
By J.D. Long-García
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Seven hundred members of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona participated in a procession earlier this month to honor the patroness of their diocese, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

One woman in particular, Maria Molina has a special love for Our Lady.

Just about a year ago, Molina was going to lose her house.

“I bought a house by myself and I had to refinance it and I just couldn’t make it,” the single mother of two boys said. “I went to different banks, and no one could help me.”

But then, someone did. On Dec. 11, Molina received a call from Bank of America. The next day, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, she signed the papers.

“She’s always by me. She gives me energy, she gives me a job,” Molina said. “We’re healthy. We’re poor, but healthy.”

Molina joined an estimated 700 Catholics who processed from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish to St. Mary’s Basilica Dec. 7 for the third annual “Honor Your Mother” celebration. The event, which was organized by Mary’s Ministries, also kicked off the Phoenix Diocese’s 40th anniversary celebration.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of this diocese. She is our mother,” Molina said. “As Catholics, we need to honor her — not just one day, but every day.”

Following the procession, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted concelebrated an outdoor Mass with several other priests, including Holy Cross Father John Herman. The pastor of St. John Vianney in Goodyear gave the bilingual homily.

He recounted the story of St. Juan Diego, to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared. The Blessed Mother asked him to build a church for her, but the local bishop was only convinced after Juan Diego revealed the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his tilma.

“The woman in that picture was an expectant mother with the child Jesus in her womb,” he said. “She reminds us today, in a quiet but very real way, of the dignity of human life and of the dignity of every human person.”

“In this time when there’s a real possibility of a universal right to abortion, we’re reminded of our call as Catholic Christians to take a stand for life,” Fr. Herman said of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would outlaw any “obstacles” to abortion at will.

Yet the priest also recognized that human dignity must be defended outside the womb as well.

“We know our immigrant brothers and sisters have been under attack in many ways,” he said. “We are called to stand for — to stand with — these brothers and sisters. They too are made in the image and likeness of God.”

The event helped many Mexican Catholics reconnect with their cultural heritage, said Carmen Reyes, a parishioner at Sacred Heart.

“She has a love for us and we give her thanks for that love,” she said. Reyes added it was a joy to celebrate the feast day with the bishop, who “is a person who understands our history and the history of our people.”

But, as Guillermina Vazquez of Immaculate Heart said, Our Lady of Guadalupe isn’t just for Mexicans.

“She is for everyone. We need to do a better job of inviting the Anglos,” she said. “They too can be united in this celebration. This way, the people of God can be one.”

In fact, that was one of Bishop Olmsted’s hopes when the ­diocesan-wide celebration began three years ago. Unfortunately, the numbers have been dwindling.

“Committed Catholics need to motivate other Catholics,” said Mercy Lopez of Mary’s Ministries. “We don’t have that motivation yet. But in the end, we are one Church.”

Reyes Ruiz, also of Mary’s Ministries, sees the tide turning.

“More parishes are starting to get involved,” he said, adding that he’d like to see the number of participants grow to 20,000. “Mary can be the one to pull us together.”

Ruiz noted the widespread devotion to Our Lady, underscoring the thousands that turn out for the annual Rosary Sunday celebration.

“She continues to guide us to her Son,” he said. “No other religion honors her as we do."

Printed with permission from the Catholic Sun, newspaper from the Diocese of Phoenix.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14