Community celebrates annual traditions of La Virgen de Guadalupe



Members of the San Diego community and parishioners of the Immaculata Parish gathered with white, pink, and red roses and glowing candles in celebration of the Our Lady of Guadalupe mass held in the Immaculata on Sunday night. The ceremony commenced with a dinner celebration in the UC Forums with cultural music from Mariachi Imperial de San Diego and festive food that family members and students had the chance to enjoy while watching the band perform.

Following the festivities was a ceremonial procession from the UCs to the Immaculata Parish. People gathered together, singing along to the songs of the mariachi band and holding their candles in honor of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Senior Sandy Guerrero volunteered to participate in the mass and carried the cross during the procession.

“I volunteered freshman year and I really enjoyed helping out with the mass,” Guerrero said. “Since it was my last year, I told myself I had to do it again before I graduated. It was really nice to see the Linda Vista and San Diego community, and the students come together to enjoy a cultural event.”

For parishioners such as Sandy, Sunday was a night of celebrating customs and traditions that many members of the church community commemorate every year.

“I grew up going to mass to celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birthday,” Guerrero said. “For me it is more than just going to mass; it is a cultural thing that I would always attend with my family. It shows our support and love for her, which is why I wanted to participate.”

The bilingual mass was led by Father Gino Correa who was honored to have been the presider.

“It is a wonderful way to help myself and the community to keep alive a story that speaks to us in a very particular way of how God’s good news is given to all people,” Correa said. “It speaks to all people who felt God was not speaking to them or who sometimes feel invisible and abandoned. They are not just feel good stories or myths, but stories that very much have to do with our identity and with the hope that we need in order to fuel us to keep going.”

At the end of the mass, USD students performed a reenactment of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sophomore Daisy Aguilar narrated the story of a young native by the name of Juan Diego, who was in pursuit of God. On his walk Our Lady appeared to him and gave him the task of asking Bishop Don Juan Zumarraga to build a basilica in her honor. After being rejected twice by the bishop, Juan Diego brought forth a white mantle of colorful roses given to him by Our Lady. After seeing this, the Bishop fell to his knees and immediately believed the message of Juan Diego. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City still stands in her honor to this day.

Sophomore and Eucharistic Minister for University Ministry, Raul Villar, participated to play the role of the bishop.

“I felt a great sense of joy knowing that I am representing my culture and celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe with all of my friends at USD,” Villar said. “It is beautiful because I had the chance to share my faith and culture with everyone I love.”

He reflects on his celebrations from his hometown compared to the mass here at USD.

“Where I am from everyone knows about the Virgin of Guadalupe,” Villar said. “Not everyone here is informed about the history of la virgen, so I feel a sense of obligation to share my love and knowledge for the history and traditions of this feast day.”

It was a celebratory evening for all of the folks in the Linda Vista, San Diego, and USD community honor la importancia de la historia de la Virgen de Guadalupe. In light of the Advent season in the Catholic Church, the celebration continued to recognize the important traditions being celebrated and the opportunities provided for people to enjoy the moments of preparing for the coming of Christ.