Music, dance, Mass mark anniversary

Music, dance and a bilingual Mass will be part of a community celebration on Oct. 2 to mark the 10th anniversary of El Mensajero Católico .

The monthly Spanish-language newspaper was established in 2005 by Rochester Catholic Press Association, which also publishes the Catholic Courier, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Rochester.

In honor of the newspaper’s anniversary, El Mensajero‘s staff will present a community celebration at St. Michael Church, 869 N. Clinton Ave., Rochester. The Oct. 2 El Mensajero event is being presented in conjunction with the second-annual leadership conference of El Instituto Pastoral Hispano, which will take place the next day at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford.

The newspaper’s celebration, which is free and open to the public, will begin with a 6 p.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, publisher of El Mensajero. Father Lorenzo Ato, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, weekly radio and TV host, and Spanish-language columnist for the archdiocesan newspaper Catholic New York, will serve as homilist. He also is the keynote speaker for the Instituto’s event the following day.

The Mass will be followed by festivities in the church hall. Father Ato will briefly address the crowd during El Mensajero‘s anniversary party.

The festivities also will include music and dance performances as well as traditional food representing Mexico and the Caribbean from several area restaurants, including D’Mangu, Itacate and El Pilón Criollo. Borinquen Dance Theatre, Grupo Cultural Latino and Papalotl will perform during the evening.

"We value the support the publication offers to our Hispanic community," said Diana Chapoy-Callahan, director of the children’s Mexican dance group, Papalotl. "We also recognize that El Mensajero is one of the only Spanish-language publications that serves our community, and we like to contribute to the publication’s success in any way we can."

The evening also will feature several music groups: Los Tres Arpegios, Byron Noble and A Són Tropical.

Abdel Abino from A Són Tropical said that his group feels honored to be part of the newspaper’s anniversary celebration.

"Since some of us (band members) are parishioners from St. Frances Cabrini Parish, we had been familiar with the newspaper," he said. "As Christians, we appreciate and value the information that this paper provides to the Latino community in our diocese. We thank you much for your service, and we wish you many blessings in the years to come."

El Mensajero showcases the diverse cultural and religious celebrations taking place in Rochester as well as providing news and issues coverage. The newspaper is distributed to approximately 8,500 readers at more than 200 locations, including neighborhood stores, community agencies and churches. As the only locally based newspaper providing consistent journalistic coverage of the area’s Hispanic community, it has earned numerous press honors for its high-quality reporting, graphic design and photographic excellence.

In June, staff writer Annette Jiménez won a first-place award for Individual Excellence — Writer from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Further details on El Mensajero Católico‘s anniversary event will be available at as well as the MensajeroRochester Facebook page. For more information on El Instituto Pastoral Hispano’s conference, contact Lynette Saenz, director of the Cultural Diversity Office for the Diocese of Rochester, at 585-328-3228, ext. 1318, or at

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