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La Liga de Las Americas

December is the time for Posadas and the Virgin of Guadalupe Festivals


By Alan Abrams, La Prensa Senior Correspondent


The weeks before Navidad are traditionally a busy time for Father Richard Notter and the Parish of SS. Peter and Paul Church. Ditto for almost all of the churches that service the Latino communities.


December 12 marks the observance of the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe has become the patron saint of the Mexican Republic. Historically and emotionally, the Virgin is deeply woven into the life of every Mexican. During the wars of independence she was the patroness of the Mexican armies.


Almost every Mexican town has a church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. And people turn to her for help and guidance on every occasion. For example, the Virgin is the patroness saint of Degollado, Jalisco, México, which hosts a 10-day festival every diciembre. The Virgin is also featured on the side of SS. Peter and Paul Church in Toledo.


December is also the time of posadas. Starting on December 16, 2007, at 7:00 pm and continuing until Christmas Eve at 11:00 pm, are the Posada Processions. The last Posada on Christmas Eve leads into the celebration of the Midnight Mass at the church.


But this year’s celebration will also be tinged with a degree of sadness, for these will be the last Posadas to be conducted by Father Notter at his beloved SS. Peter and Paul.


NEXT WEEK: “I’m retiring in July to join the circus,” says Father Notter.






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