Celebration representative of faith
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Children watched eagerly as the Danza Azteca dancers rhythmically made their way down the aisle of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community church. Some clapped with the loud beat of the drum.
For the third year, St. Teresa’s has celebrated the story from 1531 of Our Lady of Guadalupe. With a growing Hispanic community in the church and the addition of Father Edgar Villanueva, the weekly bilingual service is drawing hundreds of Hispanic families to the church.
Friday’s celebration began with two dance groups ” Danza Azteca and Baile Tradicional ” then the re-enactment of the Biblical story of the Virgin Mary and a young man named Juan Diego. Mary instructed Juan to go to the bishop of Mexico City, saying Our Lady of Guadalupe wanted a church to be built.
With a standing-room only crowd and about 300 more in the hall, the lesson was presented in Spanish.
A Mass also was held with a community dinner. Helping with the festivities were Elbira Viaz and Rosa Oropeza. Viaz said 1,000 loaves of bread were served at the celebration.
“The Spanish youth group has been practicing since August,” Viaz said. “It went very well. Today we are celebrating our third year of Spanish Mass. This is a wonderful celebration with many people involved.”
Viaz said about 200 people attended the first year and 500 the second. About 1,300 were in attendance at Friday morning’s celebration.
German Munoz, 14, performed with Los Machtes, a dance group.
“I feel excited (to be involved),” he said. “I have lots of posters of Our Lady of Guadalupe in my room. Like 12 of them. And I’m not nervous. I feel good to be on stage.”
Willy Munoz, Freddy Ruiz, Ricardo and Junior Nolasco with Banda Nayarit Musical group from Reno, were busy setting up in the hall as after-Mass entertainment.
“This is a privilege for us to be here,” Munoz said. “It’s like a cleansing.”
The requested church was finally built and the holy image of Our Lady of Guadalupe impressed at the site.
“It was through Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Aztec people of Mexico reaffirmed their faith in God,” said Terri Domitrovich, a member of St. Teresa’s. “To me, this is a beautiful thing. It’s not a show, it’s an offering of a prayer to the blessed mother. This was exquisite.”
“It was very beautiful,” said Sister Marie McGloin of the church. “It was very reverent and the dancing was beautiful.”
– Contact Rhonda Costa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.