Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe travels around the archdiocese
A special image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is traveling among parishes in the archdiocese with the goal of uniting Catholics in their faith and bringing people back to church.
Caballero Miguel Sandoval, a member of the Knights of Columbus at St. John the Evangelist Parish, guards the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe during a visit to the Vancouver church. Photo: Courtesy Knights of Columbus
Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the image is part of the organization’s outreach to create fellowship between Hispanic Catholics and the broader Catholic community, said Ygnacio "Mike" Calderon, state Hispanic membership chairman for the Knights.
As he travels with the image, Calderon sees people who are leaving or questioning their faith, "or just need the light of faith to again light up in their hearts." Bringing the image to parishes "will help the Catholic faith, it will help the parishes, it will help all to bring in the greater glory of God," he said.
Some parishes have special prayer services, devotions or events during the image’s visit. At St. Edward Parish in Shelton, for instance, various parish groups gathered to recite a daily rosary before the image during its October stay.
Image left on cloak
The devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe started in 1531 when the Virgin Mary appeared in a vision to peasant Juan Diego in Tepeyac, Mexico. As a sign of her appearances, Mary left her image on Diego’s tilma, or cloak. Known worldwide as Our Lady of Guadalupe, the image is a national symbol in Mexico.
The image traveling around the archdiocese was given to the state Knights of Columbus at a national Knights convention, Calderon said. It has the apostolic blessing of Pope Benedict XVI, was touched to St. Juan Diego’s tilma, and has a trace of dirt from Tepeyac at its base. It has traveled to parishes throughout the U.S. and to areas of Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Europe and Africa where Knights of Columbus groups are present.
When the image’s travels in Western Washington are complete, Calderon hopes to present it as a gift to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.
Members of the new Rosary Guild at St. Edward Parish in Shelton prayed the rosary before this image of Our Lady of Guadalupe during its stay at the parish in October. Guild members include Emi McKay, left, Velia Brambila, Jackie Martin, Veronica Brambila, Lois Hanson-Worland, Leslie Peterson, Gondenzia Mbaka and Karin Locke.
After each parish visit, there is an effort to reach out to Hispanic Catholics by organizing "mesas redondas de familias," or family roundtables, in partnership with the local Knights of Columbus council. The mesas are a primarily Spanish-speaking alternative to the regular Knights meetings, with the aim of starting more parish-related outreach to Hispanics.
Mesas have been established at St. Edward, St. John the Evangelist Parish in Vancouver, Our Lady of Good Help Parish in Hoquiam, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Sedro-Woolley and Immaculate Conception Parish in Mount Vernon.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE TRAVELS
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will visit these parishes:
St. Joseph, Chehalis, Nov. 1-15
Visits have already occurred at St. John the Evangelist in Vancouver, Our Lady of Good Help in Hoquiam, St. Lawrence in Raymond, St. Edward in Shelton and Sacred Heart in Lacey.
For more information, call Mike Calderon at 360-892-5702.
Nov. 6, 2013