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By Vissia Hernandez
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the secondary Patroness of the Philippines and Protectress of Unborn Children, on December 12. Tepeyac, or the Hill of Tepeyac, Mexico, is where the Blessed Virgin appeared to San Juan Diego in 1531. The shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is one of the most visited in the world. Vissia Hernandez has written previously for Misyon.
‘It’s like Baclaran’,was my first impression, as I got off the city bus. Stores and stalls selling everything from recuerdos y zapatos (souvenirs and shoes) to comidas y bebidas (food and drink) line both sides of a pedestrian area leading to La Villa (‘the town’, referring to the Basilica compound). A brisk five-minute walk away, behind a tall fence, towers an ancient brick church – the old Basilica, with its imposing yellow dome, twin bell-towers and ornate facade.
As more and more people were streaming towards the gates, I qualified my first impression, ‘It’s like Baclaran on a first Wednesday!’ Excitement mounted with each step until I finally reached the gates of La Villa. Inside, folk dancers with tall headdresses and fierce masks were performing a ritual dance. As I surveyed the wide expanse of Plaza Mariana with its many churches and chapels, a baptistery and a small hill, I was reminded of the Marian shrine complexes in Lourdes and Fatima, only this time, the hordes of pilgrims were predominantly Mexican, and the atmosphere familiarly ‘fiesta’. People were carrying around big and small images, even altars and carrozas of their beloved patroness, reminiscent of Filipino devotees cradling treasured Sto Niños in their arms during the January processions. Instantly, I felt at home!
Plaza Mariana with the New Basilica, the Old Basilica and the Temple of the Capuchin Nuns
By Fr Kevin Mullins
A day in the life of Columban Fr Kevin Mullins who works in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
On the morning of 27 November 2011 Leo, the full-time parish worker, and I were crossing Juárez City, Mexico, to meet with Manny Vargas, the editor of Misión Columbana, the Spanish-language magazine of the Columbans in the USA.
After a short stop at the bank, we continued on only to be passed by speeding police cars and military convoys with sirens blaring.
By: Sr. Felicitas Aranda
Mission for me in Oaxaca Mexico is a childhood dream. I had a deep desire to help the people of Mexico ever since I heard of their religious persecution and the martyrdom of Fr. Miguel Pro S.J. This was renewed in 1986 when I met Sr. Cyril Jacko. I was invited to join her in Mexico
I came to Ozxaca on March 2, 1987. The smallness of the Airport, the colonial charm of the city, the simply dressed folks, the warm friendship of the people gave me the feeling of being at home from the day I arrived.
Eleven Spoken Languages
Language was a problem the first few months. No one would believe that I, Filipina, would have such meager knowledge of Spanish, but at least I knew it well enough to understand and be understood. Oaxaca has the most indigenous population and has eleven or more spoken languages. This presents a problem at work in the hospital where we encounter a lot of indigent patients who speak little or no Spanish.