Religious Education Program
This year our Religious Education Program has registered 1,305 children. The program has daily classes from Tuesday to Friday, each day with different groups. We have 47 catechists and 32 assistants distributed in 53 classes. On Saturdays we have 2 special needs classes.
Last year 210 children received their first communion, 207 received their Confirmation, and 60 adults received their sacraments.
There are about 20 girls (ages 8 to 17) who gather at St. Rocco’s center from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Every Saturday the girls have a small talk on a spiritual or moral topic; following the talk the girls have some time for questions and/or to discuss issues they are experiencing. After the talk, there is time for sports and then for prayer. Some of them participate in the Youth Festival organized by the Religious Family and the March for Life.
The sisters visit homes so that they can help those who are separated from the Church and to register new families. Between the months of June and July.
The group gives the necessary formation to the couples preparing to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. This formation is very important for our immigrant families.
Parish Office Work
Two sisters work at the Mission office from Tuesday to Friday. While the sisters are in the office they attend to the needs of those that come in for assistance, organize the activities for each day, and prepare for up-coming retreats.
This is a new group of young adults that meets every other Saturday. Two sister accompany this group, they help them with spiritual, human and moral formation. The young adults participate in world youth days, Universitas, Vox formation days, March for Life, and youth conferences organize by the IVE.
Activities During Special Seasons
During the nine days before Christmas Eve, the sisters organize the “Posadas Novena.” It is a Mexican Tradition that consists of going to different houses to pray the Rosary and sing before the manger awaiting the birth of the Child Jesus.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Everything starts with the “Docenario” twelve day prayer that consists on song and rosary procession with particular prayers for the celebration. The people and the sisters participate of the “Mañanitas.” It is a traditional custom among the Mexicans: they pray and sing special songs in honor of Mary. Right before the main Feast on the 12th, we also have the Feast of St. Juan Diego the visionary of Our Lady on the 9th. During the day on the 12th, parishioners and non-parishioners participate in the different Holy Masses, honoring Our Lady. We have 7 Masses that day plus a service in one of the mushroom houses. Approximately 3,000 participate every year.
The play of the Nativity of Jesus is organized by the sisters along with the children and the youth group.
Every Friday the sisters pray with the people the Way of the Cross at the Parish. It is require that Confirmation and RCIA students participate at least 5 times.
The sisters assist to prepare the Liturgy of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. In addition, the sisters organize the live Way of the Cross, which is performed by the youth of the community.
Other Activities during the Year
Every weekend all the sisters assist in the preparation of the six Masses, which include sacristy duties and assisting Monsignor Frank Depman and Fr. Andres in various tasks.
In order to improve the Liturgy, the sisters have organized a group of altar servers, have a Children’s Choir and hold lector workshops.
Every Saturday 3 seminarians come for a boys oratory which is held at the same time is the girls oratory. The sister facilitate the seminarian with the needs of the oratory.
Our Patroness | Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady appeared to an indigenous peasant, St. Juan Diego, in what is now Mexico City. After appealing the the archbishop to build a shrine in that spot, Juan Diego was asked by the archbishop for a sign proving the Lady’s identity.
Juan Diego returned to the hill and encountered Our Lady again. Though it was winter, the Virgin told him to climb to the top of the hill and pick some flowers to present to the Archbishop. The Virgin bundled the flowers into Juan’s cloak, known as a tilma. When Juan Diego presented the tilma of flowers to Zumárraga, the flowers fell out and he recognised them as Castilian roses, which are not found in Mexico. Further, the tilma now miraculously bore the image of the Virgin herself.
“Let not your heart be disturbed… Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.” (Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, 1531)