Although they may be far removed from their homelands, local immigrants don’t leave their traditions behind during Advent and Christmas.
One of the major Advent celebrations among local Latinos is the Dec. 12 feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to St. Juan Diego on that day in 1531 in Mexico. The feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, which also is the feast day of several other Marian apparitions, also is an important celebration.
Nightly devotions, a sung rosary and the procession of an Our Lady of Guadalupe statue to parishioners’ homes in Geneva and Penn Yan at 7 p.m. Dec. 4-11 will lead up to the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, said Sister of Mercy Kay Schwenzer, Hispanic pastoral minister for Yates, Ontario and Wayne counties.
"I think it also helps our community to be one, and to be more united in prayer," Sister Schwenzer said of the communal prayer in homes.
On the morning of Dec. 12, the Our Lady of Peace community in Geneva will host an early morning rosary and Las Mañanitas, (a sung morning greeting). They will come back together for Mass at 6 p.m. followed by food and music in the parish center, 110 Exchange St., Geneva.
Starting Sunday, Dec. 16, parishioners also will go house to house each night for Las Posadas, a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter before Jesus’ birth.
On Christmas Day, children will re-enact the Nativity story during 11 a.m. Mass. The Christmas season will end Jan. 6 with the Three Kings Day Mass and celebration afterwards in the Parish Center in Geneva, Sister Schwenzer said.