A special Spanish celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe took place in Maple Mount, Ky., in 2019. The Dec. 11 Mass occurred the evening before the saint’s Feast Day. Sister Sara Mara Gomez wanted to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe here in Kentucky. She retired to the Ursuline Motherhouse this year after serving almost 30 years in New Mexico as a pastoral minister, director of religious education, and religion teacher. She had help with planning from Sister Fran Wilhelm, who also ministered with Hispanics for nearly 30 years after founding Centro Latino in Stanley, Ky., (which moved to Owensboro, Ky., in 2000). Sister Fran retired to the Motherhouse in June 2018. Sister Sara Marie and Sister Fran sang Spanish hymns along with visiting Latino singers.
Also participating in the Mass were Sister Luisa Bickett, who carried up a Guadalupe statue and placed it on the altar. Sister Luisa was a teacher and principal in New Mexico in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her ministry was in Chile from 1965-1983, where she served as a teacher and pastoral minister. Another participant with Hispanic ministry connections was Sister Ruth Gehres, who played the piano at the Mass. She ministered as an assistant and was the communications/website manager for Casa Ursulina in Chile from 2007-2013.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. Her feast commemorates the appearance of Mary to Saint Juan Diego, a poor Indian, in Mexico in 1531.
After the Mass, a meal of Mexican food was served in the dining room to everyone who came to the Mass. A mariachi band provided music. Prior to the meal, Sister Mary Matthias Ward led everyone in prayer. From 2003-2009, she was director of the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Gallup, N.M.
Here are photos from the evening: