Some 300 of the Archdiocese’s Hispanic Catholics joined to celebrate their diverse cultures during an Oct. 5 liturgy at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.
“We’re from different countries, but we are one family that speaks the same language,” said Miriam Rodriguez, who represented her native Venezuela at the Archdiocese’s 14th annual Hispanic Heritage Mass.
Sponsored by the Office for Hispanic Catholics, the liturgy drew participants from 37 parishes and 3 worship sites in the Hispanic Apostolate. Many wore traditional attire and carried banners honoring their countries of origin during the Mass’s opening procession.
Devotion to Mary, which is prominent in Latin American nations, was reflected throughout the celebration. A number of the banners featured images of Mary in her various titles throughout Latin America. During the procession, the Hispanic Chorale of Philadelphia – directed by liturgical composer Damaris Thillet – performed “Virgen Mambisa,” a hymn honoring Mary as the patroness of Cuba.
Speaking in Spanish, Auxiliary Bishop Edward Deliman, the principal celebrant of the Mass, said in his homily that Mary serves as “the context for contemplating the magnificent truths” of the Catholic faith.
Quoting an ancient saying made famous by St. Louis de Montfort, Bishop Deliman said that the rosary – one of the foremost Marian devotions — provides a means of journeying “to Jesus through Mary.”
(Watch a video from the 14th annual Hispanic Heritage Mass.)
Those who pray the rosary’s mysteries “spiritually and mentally walk with Christ and his most holy Mother … through the pages of Sacred Scripture,” said Bishop Deliman.
As a result, “we experience the humanity of Christ, a humanity that lifts us out of the depths to our true dignity,” Bishop Deliman said.
The liturgy was preceded and followed by an all-day retreat led by Ricardo and Lucia Luzondo, hosts of EWTN’s “Creados para Amar” program.
Lay involvement in pastoral life was central to both the retreat and the liturgy. During the Mass, 23 individuals received certificates in church ministry from the archdiocesan Institute for Hispanic Catholics.
The three-year program, which is designed in particular for lay pastoral staff, includes coursework in Scripture studies, church history, sacramental and moral theology, evangelization and parish leadership.
Kathia Arango, director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics, said the recipients demonstrated a “commitment to go every week for formation, and to be a part of the church.”
Such dedication is evidence that despite declines in Mass attendance and belief in the Real Presence, “the church is not dead,” said Arango.
“It’s more than alive,” she said. “Now we have to proclaim the good news that we are alive.”
The following graduates received their certificates in church ministry from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Hispanic Catholic Institute during the 14th annual Hispanic Heritage Mass:
Carmen D. Olmeda
Carmen Maria Colón
Francisca Ramos Ortiz
Héctor Rojas Escobar
Ivan R. Muñoz Baez
Jaime Luis Cortés Méndez
Juanita Ramos de Jesús
Manuela Ramos Ortiz
Maria A. Cruz
Marisol Morales Quintana
Pedro Magallón Noyola
Ramonita Guzman Cotto
Sandra Rodríguez Rievra
Sandra I. Vélez Acevedo
Vicmarie Osorio Merced
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103