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Our Lady of Guadalupe

A Year of Gratefulness

Dear Parishioners,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! With all the bad news in the world that covers our headlines, it is important not just to be nostalgic, but to once again, root ourselves in those things that are truly good, beautiful, and true (cf. Philippians 4:7- 9). For in these things are true joy and peace. For in these things we encounter the Good News who is Jesus Christ.

This year, for me, I look back and I am thankful for the work of all our pastoral ministers who have tirelessly worked in the vineyard with equally passionate volunteers. Events such as Joe’s Camp to Summer Bible School to the events surrounding Our Lady of Guadalupe show how much God had been working in the lives of our people. For a second year in a row, those who entered the Church through the Easter Vigil celebration, made up a group so large that the room where their classes where held was moved to a much larger one in the Parish Center. This year our sacristan crew (those who help prepare for Mass), more than tripled in size! I am so humbled to see their selfless dedication to this important task each week.

I am grateful that the Lord has blessed our school with a large increase in students which has allowed us to spread the Good News to more children and their families. The school community continued to grow in vibrancy. I am also so grateful for our wonderful teaching and administrative staff at the school. The sense of camaraderie and morale is inspiring.

I am excited about the work and direction our Core Building Committee who have taken a year to explore all the options for a new church building. Please note that I did not say renovation. In the course of our explorations, it turned out not be a significant cost difference to rebuild versus renovate the existing structure. So, early on after making that decision, we explored almost every location and arrangement of a proposed new church. In the Spring, we will have a feasibility study done in order to determine what financial potential there is in this project. I am so pleased with the discernment that has been so seriously undertaken in this task. I believe you will love what will come out of it all.

Finally, I am so very thankful for all the people who have newly come to worship here at St. Anne’s. They have helped us have new people helping with ministries. They have brought fresh eyes and ears to help us with our mission. I hope that we continue to be that church where Jesus is prophetically preached, hearts are healed, and the Mass becomes ever-more the center of our faith, for it is there that we encounter the sacrificed and risen Lord, Jesus Christ. In all, there is much for which to be grateful. May all these things give glory to God!

May God bless you all!

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Dear Parishioners,

In a small town in Mexico in the year 1531, a newly converted Christian peasant man, named Juan Diego, was walking from his village in the area we now know as Mexico City, when he was met by an apparition of a woman surrounded in light.  She appeared to be a teenager and spoke his native language.  She asked him to go to the archbishop with the instructions to build a church on that very site.  The archbishop, Juan de Zumárraga, told Juan to return to the woman and ask for a sign that would prove that the vision was real.  Juan Diego as he was asked.  The Lady appeared to him again upon his return and instructed him to pick some roses that were nearby (The roses shouldn’t have been in bloom nor were they native to that area).  Juan Diego returned to the archbishop with these roses tucked neatly in his tilma (think poncho).  Upon returning to the archbishop and unfurling his tilma with the roses, a miraculous image of the Lady had been imprinted on the tilma.  This tilma, which should have deteriorated long ago is still on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The miracle of the apparition and tilma-image of the Virgin Mary, now called Our Lady of Guadalupe, was responsible for the conversion of over 9 million people within the first eight years after the apparition.  That’s three thousand people every day for eight years!  The Franciscan missionaries were astounded at the number of native people who were coming to be baptized and receive the other Sacraments.  It was also the greatest force for unification of the Spanish Conquistadors and native people of Mexico.  Even today, I think it is safe to say, that the image of our Lady of Guadalupe is synonymous with the Mexican people and more a symbol of their identity than their national flag.  The Basilica where the tilma is on display is one of the most visited shrines in the world. Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered the patroness of all the Americas and was declared by Pope John Paul II to be the patroness of the unborn.  Juan Diego was canonized in 2002. The apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest approved marian apparitions in the Church.

The official date for this celebration is December 12.  Please make sure to review the flyer in today’s bulletin for our calendar of events surrounding the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Most everything will be bilingual.  I hope to see you at any or all of the events surrounding this important festival which has a special place for our Hispanic parishioners.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor