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CURRENT ISSUE:  December 17, 2007
VOL. 45, NO. 21    •   Oakland, CA
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Dancers from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood join in the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the annual procession through the streets of Oakland, Dec. 8. For more photos of the event, see page 15.
JOSE LUIS AGUIRRE PHOTO

Thousands of Catholics from throughout the East Bay walked through the streets of Oakland, Dec. 8, to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. During an 8-mile procession which began at St. Louis Bertrand Church and ended at Lake Merritt, people carried decorated banners while singing and praying. There were Aztec dancers, a dozen floats and numerous parishioners wearing T-shirts bearing images of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron chose the occasion to publicly proclaim a statement on immigration issued days earlier by the state’s bishops in which they call for just and humane immigration reform.
The statement urges immigration legislation that would provide a legal path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S. and would prioritize the reunification of families separated because of mixed immigration status.

Bishop Vigneron read the statement at the close of the procession when the walkers had gathered across the street from where the new Cathedral of Christ the Light is being built. (Read the full text here.)

The pilgrimage, sponsored by the diocesan Latino ministry department, was a celebration of the miraculous apparitions of the brown-skinned Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico, in December 1531. She left her image on his “tilma” or cloak.


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