The Great Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

How can I begin to express my gratitude to the many people who have made this year’s week-long celebration possible? What words would I use to express how wonderfully our community has come together to celebrate Our Mother and to express the faith that I continue to witness in God and in one another? I am so grateful to you and humbled by your sacrifice, your generosity, your kindness for our community, and for your love for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In a very special way, I want to express the gratitude of the entire community to Mrs. Apolinar Diaz for organizing this week-long celebration together with a great team. It has taken months of preparation and work to bring this event to fruition. I know that her work for our community always comes from a deep commitment to our community. I am deeply grateful and proud of everything she has done to bring our community together for this great celebration.
We at St. Julia are so blessed with so many wonderful people, with such faith and devotion, and with such genuine commitment to one another. We are truly a very beautiful family of faith where a large family within families takes care of each other and celebrate the great gift of our beautiful diversity and giftedness. It is my hope that everyone feels at home here at St. Julia and that we may forever create a welcoming and caring family of believers. As the pregnant Lady of Guadalupe brought forth the Light of the World, may we, after her example, bring Jesus to one another and to our entire community. May the people of St. Julia be a beacon of life, holiness, and happiness for everyone.
More than 40 days ago, we began our spiritual preparation with the three images of the Virgin of Guadalupe being hosted by families of our parish and other parishes. All those rosaries and prayers shared in the heart of families’ homes will bear fruit in their lives and in the life of our parish family. Our Mother will surely bless
us. I also want to express my deepest gratitude to Don Nico and his band who accompanied so many families with his music and brought great inspiration to those homes and families. Don Nico is a man that I greatly admire as a person and also as someone who cares deeply for our community. A special thanks goes out
also to Graciela Banos and Rafael Epifanio who donated the use of the tents that have made a great difference in our celebration and has made it possible to really enjoy everything during the week. I am particularly happy and proud of how our English-speaking sisters and brothers participated in this year’s celebration. Thank you for planning Tuesday night’s program for our youth and for welcoming the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe into your homes and families. A special thanks goes to Richard Szary who worked closely with Apolinar and who is the president of our Pastoral Council.
My heartfelt gratitude also goes to all of you who contributed so generously for the Mariachis, those who also contributed so that we could cover the expenses of our celebration. I cannot forget the workers who constructed the platform for the image of the Virgin carried in procession and those who helped to decorate the church and to see many details. We cannot forget to thank everyone who brought their horses for the procession and for the dedication of Luis Villanueva Ramos who organized it and brought the band to accompany the procession. And, finally, I think, are all those people who have helped with the purchase and the preparation of food. Friday night and Saturday were days dedicated to family and community and it would not have been possible to celebrate it without the help and dedication of so many of you. As our parish continues to grow, I am sure that our celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also become even greater. Many wonderful things have happened during this entire time: People have returned to the faith, families have been strengthened, people have been inspired to participate more in the parish and their faith in God and in one another has been deepened. We have celebrated the presence and the gift that our little children and our youth are to our parish family. We have celebrated and strengthened the love between husband and wife and have celebrated the great gift of family and community. May God walk with us as we continue to do our part in creating a true family here at St. Julia.
I am sure that Our Lady of Guadalupe smiles upon us because of our love for her and our dedication to one another and our parish family. May she bring us closer to God and to the person of her Son, Jesus, whom she carried in her body and shared with the world.
I am so happy to be part of this parish family. All of you fill my heart with humble pride and joy and because of all of you, I consider myself a very blessed man. If I have forgotten to mention anyone by name who should be mentioned, I deeply apologize, but know that I am most grateful to you.
So many have made this great week happen and it has happened in such a wonderful way. We are truly blessed. May we always share of blessings.
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
!Viva Jesús y Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe! -Friar Julio

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