About two dozen parents, grandparents, donors and friends arrived bearing bouquets of flowers to join CRSM students, faculty and staff on Dec. 11, 2017 to celebrate Mass in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The feast is an annual celebration for Mexican, Mexican-Americans and other Latino groups, many who make pilgrimages and/or gather to pay tribute to her. Inspired by her apparition in 1531 on the margins of Mexico City, Our Lady of Guadalupe invites us all to follow Christ as disciples who show preference to the suffering and vulnerable.
“Mass is a celebration that comes from the heart,” said Jim Dippold, director of campus ministry. “Today we celebrate with a joyful spirit God’s love and the love of Mary, the mother of Jesus through Our Lady of Guadalupe. She reminds us to offer special love for people who are hurting and suffering.”
Dippold also shared that the service will be the last Catholic Mass Cristo Rey will hold in the current campus. “As we celebrate today, let’s give gratitude for the long history of service St. Joseph’s (the current CRSM campus) has had in our community. Some families have had their children baptized here or gone to school here and we certainly have had many sacred and holy moments.”
Fr. Tim Manatt, SJ, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Patrick’s parishes in Milwaukee, joined the school community to reflect on the feast of the 16th Century saint and the lessons in faith and understanding she brings into the modern-day lives of the CRSM community. The 8 a.m. celebration was held a day early to accommodate the corporate work study schedule.
“Every feast of Mary reflects two key elements – discipleship and love,” said Fr. Manatt. “Her lessons show us the way to love in God’s image and to trust the feelings in our heart when we are called to serve the suffering in humanity.”
For Cristo Rey students, faculty and staff, the annual celebration has been a longtime tradition and a feast day to invite parents, grandparents and donors to celebrate together.
Preston Kendall, president of CRSM, thanked the seniors who planned the Mass, the choir, along with the guests – parents, grandparents, friends and donors, who shared in the celebration.
“The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a story about love and about saying yes to God,” said Kendall. “May we go forth today and every day in the spirit of love and saying yes to God.”
A special thank you to local liturgical musicians Paul Wood and Norma Garcia who traveled from their homes to help lead the music with the CRSM choir.