Diocese, parishes plan Guadalupe feast celebrations

GAUDETE Sunday is another name for the Third Sunday of Advent and Spanish-speaking Catholics throughout central Illinois will have added reason to rejoice as they celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe next weekend.

While some observances are planned for the actual feast day, which is Saturday, Dec. 12, others will take place on the following day.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the form the Blessed Mother took when she appeared to a poor Aztec Indian, now known as St. Juan Diego, in 1531. In a series of apparitions on Tepeyac Hill, near present-day Mexico City, Mary asked him to go to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga with a request to build a church there.

When the bishop demanded a sign that it was Mary who had made the request, she directed Juan Diego to cut some flowers, which she arranged in his tilma or cloak. Sent back to the bishop, he opened his cloak to reveal an image of the Blessed Mother.

That drama will be recounted in many of the gatherings in the coming days.

A DIOCESAN celebration will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Saturday, Dec. 12, beginning with a traditional serenade to the Virgin of Guadalupe, “Las Mananitas,” at 5 a.m. A mariachi band and other musical groups and choirs will perform traditional and modern religious music and there will be a presentation of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego.

There will be morning prayer in Spanish at 7 a.m. and Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will celebrate Mass at noon. A reception with Mexican food and music will follow.

At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Silvis, the only church in the Diocese of Peoria named for Our Lady of Guadalupe, there will be many ways over many days to participate in the prayer and festivities.

A rosary novena, which began on Dec. 3, will continue in the church at 6 p.m. each day through Dec. 11. Following the novena prayers on that evening there will be Mass at 7 p.m., a movie at 8 p.m. in the church hall about the apparitions on Tepeyac Hill, songs for Our Lady of Guadalupe at 9:30 p.m., and a meal with mariachi music at 10 p.m.

At 11:30 p.m. there will be prayers in honor of Mary and the community will greet the feast day with “Las Mananitas.” A Mass at 5 a.m. will be followed by a light breakfast. Another Mass is planned for 5:30 p.m. and will include a reenactment of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego by the young people of the parish. A dinner of Mexican food, prepared by the parishioners, will be shared afterward.

The weekend ends with a Spanish Mass at noon on Dec. 13 and potluck reception and program in the church hall.

What follows is information provided to The Catholic Post about when and how Our Lady of Guadalupe will be honored in other celebrations throughout central Illinois.

Bloomington — At St. Mary Church, 527 W. Jackson, “Las Mananitas” will be sung at 5 a.m. on Dec. 13, and a Mass with dancers and mariachi music will be celebrated by Father Gregg Petri, OFM, at 1 p.m. Following the tradition of asking area priests to preach, Msgr. Doug Hennessy, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington, will be the homilist.
A drama recounting the appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego follows the liturgy. The group will continue the festivities at a dinner with music and entertainment in the school gym.

Danville — Serenading begins at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 13 at Holy Family Church, 444 E. Main St. During the Spanish Mass at noon, there will be a play depicting the apparitions at Tepeyac Hill, and those present will receive roses to take with them to the potluck dinner at Holy Family School.

DePue — A rosary novena that began on Dec. 3, will continue at 6 p.m. each day through Dec. 11 in St. Mary’s Church, 312 Park St. The community will gather at 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 12 to sing “Las Mananitas” in the church and then enjoy hot chocolate and sweet rolls in the parish hall. The day closes with Mass at 5:30 p.m. and a potluck dinner.

East Moline — The children at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy will come together for Mass at 9 a.m. on Dec. 11. The liturgy will include a drama about the apparitions presented by the students.

Galesburg — A novena that began on Dec. 3 will be prayed each day at 6:30 p.m. in St. Patrick’s Church, 858 S. Academy St., through Dec. 11. A feast day Mass is planned for 8 a.m. on Dec. 12 and will begin with a procession of roses by the children who have made their first Communion. A Mexican breakfast will follow in the social hall.

Hoopeston — There will be two opportunities to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Anthony’s Church, 423 S. Third St. The first will take place during the 12:15 p.m. Spanish Mass this Sunday, Dec. 6, and includes a potluck dinner in the parish hall. The second will be a candlelight prayer service at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 in the church.

LaSalle — “Las Mananitas” will be sung at 9 a.m. on Dec. 12 at St. Hyacinth’s Church, 927 10th St. After the 10 a.m. Mass there will be a brief procession and refreshments in the parish hall.

Macomb — The annual celebration for the students at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Newman Center includes a Spanish Mass at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 13 and a Mexican feast, complete with entertainment and music.

Moline — The Spanish-speaking community at St. Mary’s Church, 412 10th St., will sing “Las Mananitas” at 6 a.m. in the church on Dec. 13 and then enjoy a free breakfast with Mexican food. Food will also be sold after the 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Spanish Masses.

Streator — Father Peter Pilon will celebrate a Spanish Mass at noon on Dec. 12 at St. Stephen’s Church, 711 Lundy St. Food and entertainment will follow in the cafeteria.

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