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CURRENT ISSUE:  November 20, 2006 • VOL. 44, NO. 20 • Oakland, CA

Guadalupe pilgrimage set for Dec. 9

Catholics across the Oakland Diocese are invited to join in the first diocesan pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 9.

The event will feature musicians, marching bands, dancers, and devotional floats created by Hispanic Catholics. The procession will take pilgrims from East Oakland to Lakeside Park near the construction site of the new Cathedral of Christ the Light.

It will begin at St. Louis Bertrand Church, 100th Avenue and International Boulevard, at 9 a.m. and proceed along International Boulevard, making three stops -- at 62nd Avenue, 34th Avenue and 16th Avenue where parishioners from St. Bernard, St. Elizabeth, and St. Anthony will join the procession. Once the pilgrims reach First Avenue, they will walk around the perimeter of Lake Merritt and adjacent streets until they reach the outdoor rotunda at Lakeside Park around 1:30 p.m, where they will be greeted by folkloric music and dancing.

At the park Bishop Allen Vigneron will lead the Liturgy of the Word, using scripture readings for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated on Dec. 12. Father Antonio Valdivia, pastor at St. Louis Bertrand Parish, will deliver the homily. Prayers of the Faithful and a blessing of all pilgrims will follow.

The pilgrimage is a manifestation of the faith of many local Catholics, said Father Valdivia. He said the floats, created by at least eight groups for their local Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations, will illustrate the message and meaning behind the feast.

Parishioners are encouraged to carry banners or standards from their parishes or parish groups during the procession. Individuals are also encouraged to bring images of Mary for the pilgrimage.

Parishes in East Oakland, with assistance from St. Felicitas Parish in San Leandro and St. Bede Parish in Hayward, have planned the event in collaboration with the Latino priests of the diocese and the diocesan Office of Latino Ministries.

Artist Bea Carrillo Hocker’s “Virgin of Guadalupe”.

CNS photo by Greg Tarczynski

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