WHAT: St. Michael’s, the Catholic parish of Fort Gordon, celebrates a Mass in Spanish in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, with a video presentation at 3:35 p.m.
WHERE: The Good Shepherd Chapel, Building 29608, Barnes Avenue.
QUOTE: “This is the first time that our congregation celebrates a Spanish Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We hope it is not the last one,” said Lola Rivera, the parish life coordinator at St. Michael’s.
THE SERVICE: The purpose of the Mass is to bring together the Hispanic military community, Rivera said. Religious services are not regularly conducted in Spanish at Fort Gordon, making Sunday’s service unique, she said.
EVENTS: The day’s activities begin at 3:35 p.m. with a short video about Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mass will be celebrated in Spanish by Capt. Joseph Lea, and he will be assisted by Deacon Rey Morales, who will deliver the homily. Refreshments will follow.
ABOUT THE DAY: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe falls on Dec. 12. The celebration dates to 1531, when the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant, Juan Diego, in a village outside of Mexico City. She asked him to build a church on the spot where they were standing. Diego told the local bishop, who asked for proof. Mary told Diego to bring the bishop roses from a nearby bush. He wrapped them in his tilma, a robe made from plant fibers, and went to the bishop. When he opened his tilma, an image of Mary was imprinted on the cloth. The cloth is displayed today in the Basilica of Guadalupe, one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world.