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Church plans special Mass in memory of religion’s past

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In 1531, Catholics believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor Mexican peasant in the first recorded miracle to occur in the New World.

Almost 500 years later, residents from all over the Americas, including Johnson County, will celebrate and honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church will host a special Mass for the event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Organizer Martha McQueen provided five things to know heading into the event.

Significant happening

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most important Catholic celebrations to people in the Western Hemisphere.

“The apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the first apparition in our continent, ever. It was so valuable in establishing Christianity in our continent, precisely at a time when the Spaniards had conquered Mexico and forced the local Indians to give up the religious practices they had in the past.”

‘Tremendous miracle’

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas.

“It was a tremendous miracle for the evangelization of the native people into Christianity.”

Pomp & circumstance

The Mass will feature widespread pageantry.

“Children will dress in costume and bring roses to the altar. The flags of North and South American countries will be included in a procession. At the Basilica of Guadalupe, there is a display of all of the flags of our continent. We’re going to do the same.”

Coming together

The celebration is a joint effort.

“The Mass is organized by a group of central Indiana Catholic churches, including St. Rose of Lima in Franklin, SS. Francis and Clare in the Center Grove area, Our Lady of the Greenwood in Greenwood and St. Barnabas in Indianapolis. Marian University and Roncalli High School also contribute.”

Everyone’s invited

After the ceremony, the community is invited to gather together in celebration.

“A dinner and reception for the general public will be held afterwards. It will be held at Our Lady of the Greenwood as well.”

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