Bishop Tylka visits Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis as patroness honored
SILVIS — Making his first visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church here on Dec. 10, Bishop Louis Tylka joined parishioners for a festive Mass and dinner honoring their patroness, whose feast day is Dec. 12.
And who better to play the role of Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, to whom the Blessed Mother sent Juan Diego with her request that a temple in her honor be constructed near what is now Mexico City? In addition to Bishop Tylka, the presentation of the December 1531 apparitions at Tepeyac included Jeronimo Corral, who brought great expression and joy to St. Juan Diego, and Nayeli Anguiano, who was a beautiful and loving Virgin of Guadalupe.
Father Peter Zorjan, pastor of the Silvis parish and St. Patrick in Colona, formally welcomed Bishop Tylka to the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the only parish in the diocese named for her. Our Lady of Guadalupe is recognized as the patroness of the Americas and the unborn.
“We’ve been preparing and praying for months and we’re super excited to have you here,” Father Zorjan said. “We hope and pray that you have such a good time you’ll be eager to come on back.”
He also assured the bishop that he and the parishioners are praying for him each day. “God bless you in your ministry,” he said.
“I’M A BELIEVER”
Weaving together the readings for the Third Sunday of Advent and the lessons learned from the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego in his homily, Bishop Tylka said each posed key questions about who Jesus is and who is announcing that the Lord is with us.
In the Gospel passage from Matthew, John the Baptist sends his followers to Jesus to ask if he is the one they’ve been waiting for. Rather than answer directly, Jesus tells them to look at what’s happening and then they’ll be able to announce who he is.
In the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Juan Diego is rebuffed by the archbishop who essentially asks him, “Who are you?”
Juan returns to the “Lady from heaven” with this news and she tells him, “I am the mother of God.”
“When he presents his tilma with her image in the flowers to the bishop, they know who they’re talking about,” Bishop Tylka said. “It’s not just about her — it’s about her son, Jesus. Her son, Jesus, who is the messiah, who is the Savior, who does all those wonderful things and continues to do those wonderful things.”
Now it’s our turn, he said.
“People in our world can still ask the question, ‘Who is this Jesus?’ We can point to many wonderful things in our own lives that our encounter with Jesus has brought us,” the bishop said, adding that this is likely to lead to that question about ourselves: ‘Well then, who are you?”
For Bishop Tylka, the answer is simple: “I’m a believer. I have faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore what I say and what I do, I will do so as his disciple.”
A GROUP EFFORT
Area parishes assisted Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis and St. Patrick in Colona with the Mass and dinner.
St. Mary in Moline sent their Spanish choir, as well as Danza Guadalupano, who placed flowers before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was carried in during the entrance procession by members of That Man is You from St. Anne in East Moline.
In addition, the dance troupe performed as people gathered for the homemade dinner in the parish hall after Mass.
Parishioners and guests found another contribution by the Moline parish waiting for them — a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Legion of Mary led the rosary before Mass.