Celebrations of our diversity!
In Poland, pączki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday). Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent. The Pączki Bal is an annual event held the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, where great Polish food is served, party-goers dance to traditional Polka music and a royal court (King, Queen, Prince & Princess) is selected through a game of “Pass the Pączki.”
The word novena comes from the Latin novem, meaning “nine. ” A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving. The nine days recall the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday. In the Polish tradition, a novena is prayed in the month of August to Our Lady of Czestochowa, the protectress of Poland. The Black Madonna, as our Our Lady of Czestochowa is known, is shown in the icon as directing attention away from herself and towards her Son, Jesus, who extends His right hand to bless the viewer and holds a book of Gospels in His other hand.
This June celebration is dedication to the Patron Saint of our parish. A special committee plans, coordinates and executes all activities. Key events include a special outdoor Mass, procession through the neighborhood and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the day and closing Benediction. Activities abound for all ages including a Bocce tournament, entertainment, kids games and a great Italian celebration of food. This wonderful community event is great fun for our entire parish family and our friends.
Day of the Dead (November 2nd)
Día de los Muertos is celebrated by constructing an altar adorned with brightly colored items, vigil lights and photographs. Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. The celebration takes place in connection with our Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased. The ritual concentrates on celebrating the presence of deceased loved ones in a festive and joyful way, offering hospitality and welcome to the souls of the dead. The altar helps create bonds of family unity and a sense of identity with ancestors.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (December)
On Dec. 9, 1531 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, and left a picture of herself impressed upon his cloak. Later, the picture was placed in a magnificent shrine. There it became famous for number of people making pilgrimages to it and due to the frequency of miracles, which excited the Mexican nation toward the Mother of God. The Archbishop of Mexico and the other Bishops of those regions as well as many of the faithful regarded her as their most powerful Protectress in public and private calamities and elected her principal Patroness of Mexico. Devotion to Mary under this title has continually increased and today she is the Patroness of the Americas. Because of the close link between the Church in Mexico and the United States this feast was placed on the American Calendar.
Here at St. Anthony/All Saints Parish we celebrate her feast day, December 9th beginning at 5 am with Las Mananitas (morning praises to Mary) followed by breakfast. At the 1 pm Feast Day Mass, musicians, including trumpets and violins,help us to sing out in praise. A covered dish dinner follows in the Heritage Hall.
Las Posadas (December)
This religious celebration starts on the sixteenth day of December and continues for nine consecutive evenings. Las Posadas is a reenactment of the search for shelter for the birth of the baby Jesus. Las Posadas includes a procession led by children, followed by adults and musicians. They travel to a different house in the village or neighborhood each night looking for lodging. When they enter the designated house, they begin the evening with prayer; soon after, the celebration begins, full of music, food, candy, and a piñata. Children and adults alike anticipate this joyous religious occasion. We utilize a bilingual booklet so that everyone may participate.
Feast Day Through the Years