Serra Padres paid homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe this morning during a prayer service in the Serra Chapel. The room, filled with incense and candles, brought nearly 100 students together to pray and sing Las Mananitas following the closing prayer.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spanish translation, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Biology/Environmental Science Teacher Jack Kearns started off the mass with a solo flute performance, which quieted the crowd, and signified the start of the service. Students sat on pillows surrounding a shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was decorated with roses and colorful candles.
Christian Cahill, Serra's christian service coordinator, said the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe's apparition to Juan Diego, a poor campesino, is significant because she comes representing native culture and speaking Juan Diego's native language.
"She represents an empowerment of an entire population and that she continues to look out for those on the margins," Cahill said. "We wanted our students to get to know the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe and get a sense of some of the traditional customs surrounding celebrations of her, including singing Las Mananitas as well as conchas and hot chocolate," she said. Both were served to students following the 30-minute service.
Reflections and prayers were read in both English and Spanish, allowing the Serra community to come together in prayer to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and celebrate her profound appearance to San Juan Diego.
"The service was so prayerful and allowed us to reflect on what God is calling each of us to," Director of Campus Ministry Billy Byrnes said. "We celebrated the tradition of Our Lady of Guadalupe while also celebrating the culture of many of our students."
As the semester comes to an end and students focus on finals, Byrnes said, "We were glad the students were able to find a moment to slow down, relax, and reflect on their lives before the hastiness of exams."