Virgin of Guadalupe honored

Lorenzo Salazar holds his sons David, left, and Enrique, right, prior to the start of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass Dec. 11 at Holy Name Church, 2914 S. Third Street. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the feast as a “Day of Solidarity with Immigrants.” (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

As dioceses across the country marked the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, including celebrations in the Archdiocese of Louisville, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) designated the feast as a “Day of Solidarity with Immigrants.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is the patroness of the Americas and the unborn. Her feast day is Dec. 12.

The Blessed Mother appeared to St. Juan Diego, an indigenous man in Mexico in 1531. She asked him to build a shrine, which still stands today.

The U.S. bishops said the celebrations around the country are events that “seek to honor the accomplishments, hopes, fears and needs of all families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life,” according to a news release from the USCCB.

“As we enter the Advent season and Christmas approaches, we are reminded of the unique role and importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a unifier and peacebuilder for communities.

“We honor her role as protectress of families, including those families separate and far from home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration.

Locally, the Archdiocese of Louisville held more than a dozen celebrations to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe.

During an 11 p.m. vigil Mass Dec. 11 at Holy Name Church, 2914 S. Third Street, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said it’s “very important for our faith and our very life as a family” to remember the apparition to St. Juan Diego each year.

The archbishop said the message of Our Lady to the humble saint was one of joy.

“You may say ‘I have problems, I can’t be joyful. I have worries, I can’t be joyful,’ ” the archbishop said. “But Our Lady of Guadalupe says no. Today, we have the joy of our life, our family and our faith.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe, he said, also gives the faithful the ability to trust.

“It’s very easy to be filled with fear, especially today. It’s very easy for our hearts to be filled with fear and uncertainty.

“And yet, the church is called to be with you, to walk with you and for you to walk with one another so that together we will remain strong,” Archbishop Kurtz said.

Lastly, the feast day is a day to celebrate our families, he said.

“Faith comes to us through our family. And, today especially, it is important for families to stay together and to help each other and not to abandon” one another, he said.

The Mass was concelebrated by Holy Name’s pastor, Bishop-elect J. Mark Spalding, and Fathers Wilfredo Fernandez, Carlos Conde and Conventual Franciscan Friar Charles McCarthy. Deacon Aurelio Puga, a deacon assigned to St. Rita Church, assisted.

Following the Mass at Holy Name, Mañanitas — a traditional serenade — took place.

The archbishop also celebrated a feast day Mass at Christ the King Church in Tompkinsville, Ky., Dec. 12.

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