Rev. Louis Gasparini, MCCJ
100 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 421-3131 voice ext. 2663
(513) 421-1582 fax
News and Happenings
A mother-daughter retreat took place recently at St. Susanna Parish in Mason, OH in preparation for the upcoming Quinceañera of 48 girls form around the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Within the Latino culture, this is a coming-of-age celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. In the Catholic Church, the Quinceañera usually takes place during a special Mass, and the girl makes a personal commitment to live a good Christian life. Parents, family, and friends ask God to give her His special blessing and protection as she matures into a young woman.
The retreat in Mason was part of the Quinceañera preparation for the 48 young ladies who participated, each one accompanied by her mother. A special day indeed! Many thanks to the three women who orchestrated this event and who were on site to see that the day ran smoothly. Seated in the photo, from left to right: Mary Alice Ordonez (St. Mary Parish, Dayton, OH); Karla Eysoldt (St. Susanna Parish, Mason, OH); Imelda Ayala Ramos (St. Mary Parish, Dayton, OH).
OCP comes to the Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, through the Office of Divine Worship and Sacraments, invited Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) to carry out a two-day program of training and formation for Latino liturgical music ministers, including cantors, choir directors and members, and instrumentalists About 200 people came to St. Susanna Church in Mason to take part in this rich experience. Karla Eysoldt, Hispanic Ministry coordinator, did the background work and coordinated the weekend of activities.
The program, Un Pueblo, Una Voz: Cómo Guir al Pueblo en la Oración Cantada (How to Guide People in Sung Prayer), offered three sessions:
- ¡Eleva Tu Voz al Cielo!: Técnicas de Vocalización ( Raise Your Voice to Heaven!: Techniques for Vocalization
- El Coro: Su Voz y Ministerio (The Choir: Your Voice and Ministry)
- La Música Sirve al Rito: La Armonía Entre la Liturgia y la Música (Music Serves the Rite: Harmony Between the Liturgy and Music)
Rodolfo López, Jaime Cortez, and Rebecca Ramírez were the presenters.
Rodolfo López is a musician, singer, composer, producer, and workshop clinician who works with OCP as an Hispanic events specialist. He believes strongly that music plays a major role in drawing people into the liturgy and works dedicatedly with OCP to offer opportunities to the Latino music community to make this happen.
Jaime Cortez is a composer, arranger and performer. He has been instrumental in improving Hispanic liturgies to in bringing diverse cultures together in worship. He plays many instruments, including guitar and piano. He is experienced in giving workshops on bilingual liturgy and music, to teachers and youth alike.
Both Rodolfo and Jaime have released music CDs.
Rebecca Ramírez reaches the hearts of people through her music ministry. Her expertise as cantor, liturgist, and workshop presenter has made her a seasoned traveler and part of a variety of regional and national Church groups, including USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. In spite of a busy work schedule, Rebecca finds time and energy to be part of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus.
It was both a learning experience and an affirmation for the many people who attended the OCP workshop. In his communication with Fr. Louis Gasparini, Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdioceses of Cincinnati, after the event, Mr. López wrote, “We look forward to returning to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and to continue to help the Spanish speaking ministers to grow and thrive in their ministries.”
December in Review
December in Review
While Advent is a time of expectant waiting, it can also be a very productive time of active waiting. Various Catholic Hispanic communities within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati filled their Advent days with numerous celebrations. The major activities centered around Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th and Las Posadas during the days just before Christmas. Both celebrations have been a part of Latino culture for centuries. The photos speak for themselves to those who know the story of these feasts, but for those who need a 101, here is a brief explanation of each.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Mary appeared near Mexico City to Juan Diego, a native Mexican, in 1531. She requested that a church be built on the spot where she appeared. When Juan Diego told Bishop Zumarraga , there was understandable skepticism, but Mary was ready. She told Juan Diego to gather a poncho full of roses, which he found blooming on a nearby hillside, and take them to the bishop. Roses didn’t grow in the area, and even if they did, it wasn’t the season for them. Juan took a tilma (poncho) full and presented them to the bishop. The lining of the poncho held a beautiful image of the Blessed Mother, filled with cultural symbols the indigenous people of the are would recognize immediately. This was their Mother, their Princess, who surpassed all the idols of Aztec belief.
The bishop built the church, and the poncho with Mary’s image is preserved and on display in today’s Basilic of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is believed that Guadalupe comes from Tlecuatlecupe, the name Mary gave herself in Juan Diego’s native language when he asked her who she was. It means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent.”
In no uncertain terms, Mary promised to give her love, compassion, and protection to all the native people of the area. Here are many resources that offer more detailed information. Here are two quick reads: https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/saint-juan-diego-and-our-lady.html and https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/our-lady-of-guadalupe-feast-day-facts-celebration-ideas/
Active waiting means present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.” ~ Henri Nouwen
During Advent, a traditional time of waiting among Christians, Latino communities become fully present to the moment when they engage in the 400-year-old tradition of Las Posadas,
Las Posadas is a wonderful 400+ year old Advent celebration and are an important part of Mexican Christmas traditions. During the nine evenings before Christmas, people take part in a procession that brings to life Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for an inn. Children act out the parts of Joseph and Mary as they go from house to house, where they and the many people accompanying them stop and sing a song, begging repeatedly for shelter until the “innkeeper” lets them in. Once inside, the crowd prays, sings, and shares food and drinks. Some Posadas are more elaborate, some less so, but all of them help participants move joyfully towards Christmas.
Photos represent activities at St. Susanna in Mason; St. Francis DeSales in Lebanon, St. Julie Billiart in Hamilton; and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Anderson.