Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Peralta, New Mexico, USA

2002 Parish Fiesta

The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas — our parish feast day — is on December 12th. Since this date fell on a Thursday this year, our parish fiesta was celebrated on Saturday, December 14th.

Our parish church interior decorated for fiesta
Our celebration began at an outside altar. The initial religious ceremonies there were followed by a procession through the cold December evening. The Knights of Columbus in their ceremonial garb made the procession especially impressive.
Altar figure detail

The procession led into the church, which had been decorated for the occasion. The altar was decorated with a festive sarape for an altar cloth. A table was set up in front of the altar for the figure of Our Lady that was carried in procession.
Father Gallegos celebrates the Fiesta Mass

The Fiesta Mass was the highlight of the celebration with its combination of religious, cultural, and historical elements. Many of the Parishioners found the Fiesta Mass particularly meaningful this year because of the canonization of San Juan Diego in July. (Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a native peasant, at Tepeyac in central Mexico in late 1531 — see, for example, this web site dedicated to Our Lady for the full story.)

The celebration continued after Mass with a dinner in the parish hall. Everyone enjoyed chile and enchiladas prepared by some of the best cooks in the parish. Of course, the best part was still having some time to talk with old friends and enjoy this special celebration as a community.
Parishioners enjoy the Fiesta Feast in the parish hall after Mass

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Last updated January 12, 2003