STRATFORD — On Dec. 11, the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated the Patroness of the Americas here at the parish of her namesake, along with parish priests, John Paul II Regional School students, faculty and parents.
The festive liturgy included a mariachi band, parade of flags, and a skit performed by students of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego. The celebration took place at Saint Luke Church in Stratford, part of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Lindenwold.
In December 1531, Mary appeared to Diego, a peasant and farmer, on Mexico’s Tepeyac Hill, and told him to visit his bishop and request that a temple be built on the site of her appearance. After the bishop, doubting Diego’s tale, denied his request, the peasant next brought him flowers at the orders of Our Lady of Guadalupe but, upon opening his tilma in front of the bishop, Diego instead found an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his cloak.
With the Mass, “we show our respect for her as the Mother of God, who shows herself” to us, Bishop Sullivan told the children.
“It’s wonderful that Bishop is here to celebrate with us, and bring us together,” said Father Joseph Capella, pastor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Shrine.
Hispanic parishes throughout South Jersey remembered Our Lady of Guadalupe last weekend, with processions, music and worship.