Saturday, December 05, 2009

Faithful to Hold Weeklong Observance

With processions, prayers and a torch run from Mexico to New York, local devotees of Our Lady of Guadalupe will honor the saint who has been proclaimed the Empress of the Americas. The public is invited to attend the celebrations.

The influx of new residents with ties to Mexico has made the celebration a highlight of the Roman Catholic church year in Plainfield, echoing its importance worldwide to the faithful. Click here for the story of the holiday.

The feast day of the saint is Dec. 12, but the celebration will begin Sunday (Dec. 6, 2009) with a noon procession from the Plainfield Public Library parking lot to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on West Sixth Street. A 1:30 p.m. Mass will be celebrated.

On Monday, a 7:30 p.m. Novena will take place at the church. On Tuesday, a 6:30 p.m. Mass will precede the welcoming of the torch from Mexico on its way to arrival Wednesday in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. A 7 p.m. Mass in honor of San Juan Diego will be folowed by a seminar on the saint, conducted by Ms. Conchita Jimenez, representing the Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico.

On Thursday, a 7 p.m. Holy Mass at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church will be followed by an 8 p.m. Novena and an 8:30 p.m. movie on the Guadalupe story. On Friday, there will be a 7 p.m. Mass, an 8 p.m. talk on the miracle and an 11 p.m. procession starting at 620 West Front Street to the church. As is customary, congregants will sing "Mananitas" at midnight to the Virgen de Guadalupe in an overnight observance with mariachi music at 2 a.m. and a 5 a.m. Mass accompanied by mariachi music.

In the spirit of knowing what is important to our Plainfield neighbors, Plaintalker is noting this observance in a month filled with many expressions of faith, from Eid al-Adha to Advent to Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice and Christmas. Plainfield has at least 100 houses of worship on the tax rolls and probably 100 more places where people of faith gather in storefronts, shared churches and other venues. It is a holy season for many and not just a time to shop for "difficult people" and to avoid holiday stress. Plaintalker hopes all will find some quiet time to reflect and look beyond the demands of the secular world to the spiritual realm that has sustained humankind for many centuries.

--Bernice Paglia


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