our lady of guadalupe

Two years in, School Connection Project continues to link students

Incarnate Word second-grader Alec Maxwell prayed at a Mass as part of The School Connection Project. The project, brought together students from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Incarnate Word and St. Cletus Schools.

An effort of three Catholic schools continues to break down human-made barriers and develop relationships among students from various parts of the archdiocese.

In its second year, the School Connection Project is a collaboration of second-, fourth- and seventh-graders at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson, Incarnate Word in Chesterfield and St. Cletus in St. Charles. This year, students focused on the corporal works of mercy and living out Catholic social teachings.

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message remains alive across five centuries

A member of of Club Los Vaqueros Unidos (United Cowboy Club) of Wadsworth, Ill., carried a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe as he made his way to the the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, Ill. The pilgrimage was part of a pre-celebration for her Dec. 12 feast day. In it’s fifth year, the pilgrimage is the unofficial kickoff of celebrations at the shrine which culminates with 24 hours of Masses and visits to the outdoor shrine.

WASHINGTON — Nearly 500 years after Mexican peasant Juan Diego was greeted by Mary and urged to share a message of hope and comfort as promised by God's compassion, Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to inspire new generations of faithful believers in their daily routines and struggles.

That assurance, rooted in prayer and common experiences, guides daily individual devotion and communal gatherings that build toward grand observances of the apparitions centered annually on the Dec. 12 feast day.

Archbishop asks voters to seek Holy Spirit’s help

Loretta Pittaluga, from St. Joan of Arc Parish, touched the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as she prayed. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish on the eve of the Election. An image that had touched the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, and was also blessed by Saint John Paul II in Rome, was at the Mass.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson asked Catholics attending an election eve Mass Nov. 7 to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance in their decisions on how to vote.

"Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts," Archbishop Carlson said in his homily at the Mass at St. Gabriel Church in south St. Louis.

He started his homily by explaining he once told a congregation at Mass that he was going to tell them how to vote. He held their attention through to the end of that homily, when he gave his recommendation: "Read the New Testament and ask the Lord to guide you."

Our Lady of Guadalupe feast celebrates Blessed Mother's generous response of faith

Marco Urbina nervously wrapped his fingers around a maraca as he waited in the church vestibule for the dancing to begin. The 14-year-old has attended Holy Trinity's annual Las Mañanitas and Mass to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe since he was 6; now he's part of the matachines — a group of dancers who perform a ritual dance in honor of the Queen of Heaven.

"We dance for the Virgin Mary," said Marco, with a wide grin and a dimple in his cheek. "It's like celebrating a special birthday for the greatest woman who ever lived."

Parishes to open doors for National Night of Prayer for Life

Twenty-six archdiocesan parishes will participate in the 26th annual National Night of Prayer for Life in December. They will join others around the nation in a period of eucharistic adoration and prayer for the unborn, praying for the end to abortion and for protection of the sanctity of human life. The evening prayer spans the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe's first apparition to St. Juan Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The following parishes will have eucharistic adoration from 9 p.m. Dec. 8 until 1 a.m. Dec. 9:

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church filled with song, music on Dec. 12 feast

Las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe were celebrated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Ferguson. The celebration began at midnight on Dec. 12 with prayer, adoration, the Rosary and song. Cousins Ashley Rosas, 3, and Christopher Salas, 2, wore traditional costumes for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

At about 4:30 a.m. Dec. 12, just a few hearty souls in the St. Louis area were stirring.

Groggily, they turned on coffee pots, let out dogs or switched on local TV news, whatever to start preparing for the day's activities. Most others remained cozy under warm blankets, snoozing and dreaming in their final hours of sleep.

But the crowd at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church definitely was awake, wide awake -- no mistaking that. In fact, even though many had been at it for more than four-and-a-half hours, they were just getting started.

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