Saturday, December 11, 2010


We celebrate Saturday morning the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The next parish over has a large ministry to Mexican immigrants; we have almost none. So we will be very sedate in celebrating this feast with only Mass at 8:00 AM.



And finally, an outside procession in honor of this feast. It seems to me that this is the appropriate venue for devotions of this type. Celebrate Mass first, then process outside for this sort of wonderful devotions. Makes me feel like I'm in Napoli again. We Napolitanos know how to do this well also!


Anonymous said...

That is amazing. I would like to find out more about the images in the eyes.


M. del Rosario said...

I have watched now dozens of videos of celebrations for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Many (most?) include Aztec Dancers, Mariachi bands, small boys dressed a Juan Diego, etc. - and all of this taking place inside churches across the US and elsewhere.

Presiding at these masses were Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and priests. (I was especially pleased to hear Cardinal Rigali speaking in Spanish!)

I am gratified that these pastors understand the sacred nature of the celebrations for the Mexican people. It is this expression of popular piety - in church and as an adjucnt to the mass - that has kept and that keeps Mexicans Catholic.

Maybe next year, Fr. McDonald, you could plan such a celebration in your church.

Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I'd have to plan something that is more in keeping with our southern culture. How about Our Lady of the Monster truck? We could have one drive down the aisle. Just kidding of course.

Gene said...

First of all, is Maria del Rosario your real name? You are not a follower of the Blog, but just pop up now and again with some contrarian agenda. On other forums, people like you are known as "Trolls."

Next, are celebrations in the street with mariachi bands and such all that keep Mexicans Catholic? What a pity...

Finally, your use of the term "sacred" to describe these things is problematic. They are not sacred; they are "religious" and they may be special to Mexicans (and others), but sacred is a stretch. The Mass is sacred, and the sacraments are sacred, but human expressions of religious fervor are not.

Oh, and just because certain Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops put their stamp of approval upon the degradation of the Mass does not mean everyone should follow suit. There are Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops who have supported homosexuality, abortion, and the ordination of women, too. So, go find a Spanish speaking Church that allows Aztec dance and La Cucaracha and stop trying to drag everyone else's Mass down along with your's.

SqueekerLamb said...

How about Our lady of the Georgia Red Clay?

I treasure the Latino influence in the Church..and I mean it.
yet remember, Can and Should are two different things.

Maria said...

pinanv525 - I am truly sorry that you have such a narrow view of the presence of God in our world. It was the view of some of the Hebrew people who thought they were the only ones chosen by God to receive his revelation. God is present wherever God wishes to be present. Our job is to recognize, celebrate, and embrace that presence.

If God can use a poor native Mexican's tilma to convert a nation, God can use an Aztec dance to renew that conversion each year in the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Gene said...

Maria, I have a very broad view of God's presence in the world. After all, he spoke to Balaam through a donkey, to Job from within a whirlwind, and to Moses from a burning bush. We can place no limits on God's power. However, we must remember also that this same God visited harsh judgements upon His people, quite often for false worship, calling "sacred" some things that were not, and engaging in cultural and religious syncretism with surrounding tribes. Interesting, yes?

Your statement, "God is present wherever God wishes to be present," is nice and true in a very general way. However, it is careless as a theological statement. Theologically, the corollary of your statement is that God is also not present where He chooses not to be. This must also be true, n'est ce pas? When discussing the freedom of the Holy Spirit, we often find that it is a two edged sword. If you had read a theology book or two, we might discuss this by saying that the Holy Spirit is contingently contemporaneous and that it is also contemporaneously contingent. This may sound abstruse, but it is a very real issue. The question becomes one of our discernment.

This very issue of God's Presence has issued in the codifying of Protestant theology/doctrine in Calvin who, reacting to what he saw as the Church's presumption, came up with the above doctrine of the radical freedom of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, Calvin's theo-logic led him to completely remove God's presence from the Eucharist and Holy Communion, as well as from the other Sacraments, save Baptism. Stay with me...I'm getting there...

Calvin was wrong. It took me years of honest study and prayer to decide that, and I shudder to see indications that the Church, through unintended consequences, might move in the same direction.

We believe God speaks through Church, through Her teaching and through Her structures of worship and administering the Sacraments, as well as through the Magisterium, and has given us guidance for our discernment of the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Careless blanket statements such as your's only serve as blank checks for those who would tamper with the Mass and introduce extraneous or disruptive elements, either through willful disobedience (read unbelief), or through misguided devotion.

Ignotus...I mean, my little Maria del Rosario, this is probably wasted on you (Matthew 7:6), but perhaps others will find something in it. As Catholics, we cannot (as you so charitably point out) be guilty of the same presumptions as the Hebrews and the Calvinists. Usted entiende? Joyeux Noel.

M. del Rosario said...

pinanv525 - You choose to see God where you expect God to be present. I choose to see God where God reveals himself to the Church.

"God is present where God wishes to be present" is not theologically careless. It is a statement of fact.

You want to find God in the comfortable, expected places. I will continue to look for Him in the places where God might not be expected - or controlled.

Gene said...

Maria/Ignotus, what you say is a very straight-forward statement of Calvinist doctrine...and, still, a very careless expression of it. The Church does not claim to control God's presence, rather to guide us in seeking it. It does, however, promise Christ's presence in the Eucharist and in the Sacraments.

Now, if you subscribe to the doctrine of the radical freedom of the Holy Spirit (which your statement leads me to believe), then the logic of it is that Christ through the Holy Spirit, is not always present in the Eucharist or any Sacrament, nor can we predict when he will be. He is not "baked in the bread," as one cynical Calvinist theologian once stated. So, we are left with our subjective feeling of apprehending the Holy Spirit once in a while, here and there. Therre are many dangers associated with this subjective view of God's presence. So, you should run and find a nice Presbyterian Church to join.

So, why don't you elaborate? Is Christ present in the Mass...predictably, comfortably, efficaciously? And, what is wrong with God having granted to us through the Church the comfort of knowing His Presence will be with us in the Mass and the Sacraments? God does not forbid us comfort with his love and presence. He warns us not to become presumptuous. There is a difference.

M. del Rosario said...

pinanv525- We know clearly through the Church's teaching that God is present under the forms of bread and wine in the eucharist.

This is not a matter of "following logic" but of believing the Church's teaching. You confuse faith with reason.

You struggle with the vestiges of your Calvinist background and wrongly assume we all do. I do not share such struggles and wish you well in your continuing journey into the fullness of the Truth in the Catholic Church.

Gene said...

Ignotus, The issues are real whether you are a Calvinist or a Catholic. The very post-Vat II issues with which we are now dealing arose from a desire for more subjective expression, alleged "new" venues for the presence of Christ, and a greater emphasis upon the humanity of Christ.

In one breath you say you seek Christ's Presence in more challenging, less comfortable avenues, then turn around and become an authoritarian by saying, in effect, "because the Church says so." That sounds prettty comfortable to me

I suspect you are a Priest. If that is so,I appreciate your last paragraph. It sounds almost like a blessing...LOL!

SqueekerLamb said...

oh, pin..I must call you Sherlock have ferreted out his disguise!

Just observe how Maria's writing style changed as he got worked up...fantastic job, pin!...even if you are a communion snob!

I bet there's a Hitchcock movie to represent what happened here. Or a Scooby Doo episode where the monster disguise is ripped of the little guy to reveal the twerpy fellow that was cloaked!

SqueekerLamb said...

you ferreted out M. del Rosario

Gene said...

Elementary, my Dear, Lamb! We will call this episode, "The Hound of the Blogkervilles."