Corpus Christi: 30,000 people expected to turn out for festival in Bolivia stadium 

Corpus Christi in Bolivia After a four-year hiatus, the Corpus Christi festival is returning on Thursday, May 30, 2024, to Gilberto Parada Stadium in the town of Montero, Bolivia, where it is expected to draw the attendance of approximately 30,000 people, as in previous years. | Credit: Our Lady of Mercy parish in Montero, Bolivia

After a four-year hiatus, the Corpus Christi festival is returning this year to Gilberto Parada Stadium in the town of Montero, Bolivia, where it is expected to draw the attendance of approximately 30,000 people, as in previous years.

The festival is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 30. Entertainment will be provided by more than 500 students from local schools who are preparing outfits and choreography as part of the occasion.

Members of the Congregation of Conventual Franciscans of the Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Montero are in charge of the festival and have high hopes that this year the stadium will be filled to capacity, approximately 30,000 people, a number similar to that of previous years’ celebrations.

What is unique about this popular festival, which was suspended due to the pandemic and is only now resuming, is that the religious rite is combined with cultural expressions of music, dance, entertainment, praise, and colorful outfits.

A Mass will be offered at 4 p.m. by Auxiliary Bishop Estanislao Dowlaszewicz of Santa Cruz. At the end, the faithful will participate in a procession through the streets, stopping at four altars around the city.

The pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Father Henry Cuellar, told the local Diario Zona Norte newspaper that it will be a festival of faith and commitment to the body and blood of Christ.

“Everyone should participate in order to revive their religious faith and thank God since the Blood is given as nourishment,” he said. “Christ gave himself up in his body and blood. He influences us from within to remove everything bad in us,” he added.

Father Rodolfo Vargas, a Franciscan, said the city of Montero “is already experiencing the festival of Corpus Christi.” There, he assured, they will revive their faith and joy.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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