The pastor of the parish is Catholic Online's Happy Priest
Fr. James Farfaglia, Catholic Online's "Happy Priest," is the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in the heart of Corpus Christi, Texas. After a 30 year absence, this year the parish re-established the celebration of a major Mexican celebration for Christmas - Las Posadas.
Fr. Farfaglia is a priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, located in the heart of this Texas port city. With a largely Hispanic population, the parish recently re-instituted the celebration of "Las Posadas" or "the Nine Christmas Posadas" after a 30 year absence.
The Corpus Christi Caller Times found out about the event and write a great story on Fr. Farfaglia and the people at OLOG parish. You can read the story here.
Las Posadas, means "the inns" or "the lodgings" is a wonderful celebration lasting nine days. Each year, this Novena features a nightly reenactment of the search for a place to stay by St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In anticipation of Las Posadas, each home puts up a nativity scene and the families act as innkeepers.
The procession, walking with lit candles, is normally headed by children with a little girl playing the part of Virgen Maria (Virgin Mary) and a boy as San Jose (St. Joseph). The two are "Los Peregrinos," or pilgrims, in search of a place to stay. Other children dressed as angels and shepherds and then the adults follow them. In some areas, statues of Los Peregrinos are carried instead. A small doll, representing the Christ child is also carried.
They walk through a neighborhood, stopping at homes where they knock on doors and ask for lodging by singing a traditional litany. The pilgrims sing, "In the name of heaven, I ask you for shelter because my beloved wife can continue no longer."
Then the innkeepers sing, "This is no inn, continue on your way. I am not about to open. You may be a scoundrel."
Normally three houses are chosen and the pilgrims are turned away from the first two.
They finally stop at a home that has been pre-selected for that evening's celebration, where they are welcomed in as the innkeepers sing, "Let us sing with joy, all bearing in mind that Jesus, Joseph and Mary honor us by having come.'
Upon entering, the celebration begins with the recitation of the Rosary around the home's nativity scene followed by the singing of Christmas Carols. After that, a huge party is held with music, fireworks, lots of food, and a piñata for the children filled with peanuts in the shell, oranges, tangerines, candy canes, and wrapped hard candy.
The children may be enjoying their piñata, the adults also have a treat in store - "Ponche con Piquete," or party punch, made from seasonal fruits and cinnamon sticks with a shot of alcoholic spirits.
The Christ-child doll is left at the house overnight and then recovered the next day when the pilgrims again take up their procession for the next of eight successive nights, ending on Christmas Eve.
Las Posadas has its roots in a sixteenth century practice by St. Igantius of Loyola who had used an Aztec festival to teach the people about Christ. He replaced a nine-day celebration to an Aztec Sun God with a Novena, which later grew into the Las Posadas celebration, which anticipates La Navidad, the Nativity, on Christmas Day.
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Christmas / Advent News
- Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas: Epiphany and the Missionary Mandate of the Church
- Love is Born on Christmas Morn and the World is Born Again
- Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on Christmas: In the Fullness of Time a Savior Has Come
- Redeemer in the Womb: Jesus was an Embryonic Person
- Amazing Realities of Christmas and the Incarnation
- Life is an Advent Search for God: The Importance of Effort
- Advent: Dominus humilitate adveniet: The Lord Will Come by Humility
- Advent: A Time To Seek Answers To Humankind's Most Pressing Questions
- Gaudete Sunday: We Rejoice Because the Lord is Always Near
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?