Special Mass ceremony honors the Virgin Mary

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Special Mass ceremony honors the Virgin Mary

Postby joyfulchild on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:55 pm

http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2007 ... 986497.txt

BLOOMINGTON -- St. Mary’s Church celebrated the feast of the Virgen de Guadalupe on Sunday, honoring the image of the Virgin Mary that Catholics believe appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec Christian, in the 16th century near modern-day Mexico City.

A mariachi band played as celebrants, led by Bishop Daniel Jenky, began their procession at the standing-room-only afternoon Mass.

Following the entrance, girls dressed in purple and orange Aztec and feathered headpieces, along with five men also wearing Aztec dress, danced a Chichimeca dance to the beat of a drum. The men carried fur-covered shields and short, sword-like weapons while the young women carried flowers. Their dance took place before a statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe under an arch of white flowers.

“I would like to say how blessed and happy I am that you invited me,” said Jenky leader of Catholics in the Peoria diocese, shortly after the dance ended. “I always love coming to this parish, but especially for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

Alejandro Trujillo, a resident of Bloomington from Zacatecas, Mexico, attended the Mass wearing a dark blue sweatshirt adorned with a white image of the Virgin on the back. He said that the Virgin is “como tu mamá, (like your mom).

Father Gregg Petri, who, along with Jenky officiated at the Spanish language Mass, agreed that Mexico has a childlike devotion to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

“The love that we have in our hearts for our mother is the exact same feeling that Mexico has for the Virgin. She’s the very soul of Mexico. To be Mexican is to be devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe,” he said in an interview before the Mass.

Following the Mass, children of the parish sat in the front of the church in the main aisle and watched as Alicia Ramirez, portraying the Virgin, and Luis Bucio, playing Juan Diego, re-enacted the appearance of the Virgin. After the scene, excited parents took pictures of their children in the arms of Ramirez, dressed in a green mantle.

The celebration continued in the gym of Saint Mary’s school, where attendees ate beef, salsa, rice and refried beans on tables with red, white and green tablecloths to represent the Mexican flag, and the mariachi band entertained the crowd again.

Veronica Hernandez, a Bloomington resident from Mexico City, said that the Virgin “represents people from Mexico.”

Maura Toro-Morn, director of the ISU Latin Studies Department, believes the Virgin becomes more important to Latin Americans who have moved to the United States.

“Frequently Latinos come to the U.S. and she becomes more significant to them because she is part of our connected identity, part of the Latinidad, the identity that Latinos construct. She represents a pan-ethnic identity. She speaks to all Latinos in Latin America because she represents an icon,” Toro-Morn said.

Maria Luisa Zamudio, administrative coordinator of the ISU’s Bilingual Education program, lived in Mexico City, the site of a basilica in honor of the Virgin. She described people crowding the streets days in advance of the Dec. 12 celebration, which is a national holiday in Mexico.

“People would walk for days to visit the Virgin no matter what the weather,” she said.

St. Mary’s parishioners proved that they will brave the freezing rain and icy sidewalks of Bloomington to honor the Virgen de Guadalupe.

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Postby joyfulchild on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:56 pm

and if that wasnt enough-LOOK at the comments!!

: what? you wrote on Dec 10, 2007 5:08 PM:

" have been mislead by your priest. there are no saints but the 12 apostles "

i saw wrote on Dec 10, 2007 4:20 PM:

" my image in the toilet water this morning. it's a miracle. "

to: this has always bothered me wrote on Dec 10, 2007 1:52 PM:

" It bothers you because you have bought into much of the anti-catholic rhetoric in this country and even the christian community. If you took the time to think about honoring the mother of Jesus Christ, you would not be bothered....but instead you pre-judge. I agree with 'honor'...you probably celebrate all the presidents birthdays, veterans day, and ask your dead parents to look over you....but you can't fathom asking the of Jesus' mom or even honoring her for her sacrifices. And her sacrifices were more than any veteran of this country. I honor them all. Other churches that disregard Mary and all the saints just aren't giving the full picture..sad. "

Monotheism anyone? wrote on Dec 10, 2007 1:35 PM:

" It always made me scratch my head that our “monotheistic” God begat a Son, from a virgin Holy Mother to save God’s own perfect creation that He already destroyed several times in a bid to weed out those who would need to be saved in a seemingly clumsy attempt at trial and error. Of course, any attempt to get a decent explanation is usually met with some stuttered excuse that usually ends by pointing out my own lack of “faith,” which is key to ignoring the so many of the Bible’s ridiculous and unexplainable contradictions. "

Jeff W. wrote on Dec 10, 2007 11:47 AM:

" The "we" in the converstaion tends to represent an all inemcompassing thought process. We want to sound inclusive when we want to force our ideas or opinions upon some other person or group of people. Lets just be respectful of each other's right to worship, whatever, however they want. America is a liberal democratic republic, until someone says something or does something we don't agree with. It doesn't make sense. Patriotism has become a banner under which to hate other others. A grim reality we all shoud work to change. Now where was I? OH, nice journalistic piece. I have attended the festival in the past and had it not been for the weather I would have attended this year. It's an awesome experience and I am neither Mexican nor Catholic. But I tell you what, if you want to see a warm and genuine display of love for mankind, check out the festival for yourselves. Everyone is welcome and treated as such. I caution you to get there early because it will be standing room only as it has been for years. "

Barbara Perez-Diaz wrote on Dec 10, 2007 11:01 AM:

" What was the name of the Mariachi that played? "

W wrote on Dec 10, 2007 10:49 AM:

" To: Are you kidding ME? - I totally agree. "

Are you kidding ME? wrote on Dec 10, 2007 8:57 AM:

" I have been blocked several times form posting on this site. Now you let someone post a comment comparing Mary to Paris Hilton. This is a local church celebrating their namesake and you let some ignorant fool make a ridiculous joke about it. Way to go Pantagraph censors. You have proved your uselessness once again. "

rick wrote on Dec 10, 2007 8:46 AM:

" Mary, was the mother of Jesus, she is and should be honored by all christians! "

honor wrote on Dec 10, 2007 8:34 AM:

" Let's see we honor dead presidents, the veterans of our country, and even honor peace activists on our calendar. I think honoring the mother of Jesus Christ is certainly reasonable. Amazing how many churches disregard Mary and she has very little place in their church. Yet this society seems to honor thousands of people for their "accomplishments", so don't think honoring Mary is that big of a stretch - certainly all christians should. "

W wrote on Dec 10, 2007 8:15 AM:

" I don't know why people felt the need to criticize - This was simply a report on a joyous festival. And interesting at that. This is an insult to the people who believe in honoring our Lord's mother. I will save my personal, theological opinion for a different venue. "

Um wrote on Dec 10, 2007 7:28 AM:

" "Thou shalt have no other idols before me" - Not real sure why Catholics seem to worship Mary. No doubt she was a special servant of God, but to put her on such a pedistal... even praying to her... well that makes baby Jesus cry. Christianity is about Jesus, not Mary. "

This has always bothered me wrote on Dec 10, 2007 6:35 AM:

" I am a (Protestant) Christian, but I have always been confused as to why the Catholic faith raises Mary to a nearly God-like status. To me this almost approaches the second and third Commandments. "

Mary wrote on Dec 10, 2007 4:53 AM:

" was not a perpetual virgin as catholics claim. the Bible says Joseph new her not TILL Jesus was born. to me that says yes she gave the virgin birth to jesus then Joseph as the husband had sex with her. why would anyone think he would not after Jesus was born "

I believe Mary was a virgin wrote on Dec 10, 2007 1:19 AM:

" But even if she wasn't, the only other person who ever knew the truth was her partner. No one living today and denying the Biblical account can prove she was not a virgin, so why waste the keystrokes? "

The Virgin Mary wrote on Dec 9, 2007 10:25 PM:

" was definitely not a virgin, she was the Paris Hilton of 2000 years ago. "
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Postby RomaLynnStar on Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:25 pm

Good grief. :shock:
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Postby Salty Skipper on Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:02 pm

I'm going to move this to another section. Thanks!

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