(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A mariachi band, decorations, and families all in place before the sun even came up Thursday morning.
It’s all to celebrate the Feast Of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Eyewitness News Photojournalist Joseph Butash shows us the importance of traditions at Saint John Neumann Parish in South Scranton.
“Since 1531 it’s (the events of our lady of Guadalupe appearing to Juan Diego) been venerated as this miraculous image of Mary, under the name of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. And it’s a sign, a symbol, that God does not forget the oppressed peoples,” said Father Ryan Glenn, St. John Neumann Parish Assistant Pastor.
“Remember coming here as a child, right before work, doing this every morning, and then the mass before, it’s a huge celebration. Having people come in, and their children through generations having their attire, Mexican attire, having their hair braided. It’s actually an amazing tradition,” said Nancy Ramirez, Scranton.
“Especially with my dad and stuff. We just decided to come (and formed a group/band) and sing Las Mananitas, also referred to as like happy birthday to the Virgin Of Guadalupe. So we would like to do this, even though it is very early in the morning, I’m still getting to wake up (laughs)” said Wilber Lopez, Choir.
“She’s been named by various popes as the patroness of all the Americas, so while this is fundamentally a Mexican celebration, it’s also a celebration of all peoples, in all the Americas, North-Central-And South,” said Father Gleen.
“It’s very important, we come here (to Scranton) to play every year,” said Jose Rosa, Mariachi Band Member.
“It’s not only faith. It’s culture, it’s tradition, it’s being connected to your family more than anything. And being connected to your parish is wonderful,” said Lopez.
We know of other celebrations throughout the area including a mass with Bishop Joseph Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton. He will be celebrating at a 6 p.m. mass at Saint Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre.