‘Honor Your Mother’ event Dec. 6 to draw thousands to downtown Phoenix celebration

Honor Your Mother, Dec. 10, 2006, in Phoenix. (Rob DeFrancesco/CATHOLIC SUN)
Honor Your Mother, Dec. 10, 2006, in Phoenix. (Rob DeFrancesco/CATHOLIC SUN)

The streets of downtown Phoenix will be alive once again with the sight and sound of drums and dancing in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe as participants gather Dec. 6 for the annual Honor Your Mother event.

The faithful will gather at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at 8:30 a.m. and form a procession at 10 a.m. to march west about a mile to the Diocesan Pastoral Center. Upon their arrival, they will participate in an outdoor noon Mass concelebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares of the Diocese of Phoenix

Cristofer Pereyra, director of the Hispanic Missions Office for the diocese, emphasized that the annual celebration is an event for all Catholics can share.

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Honor Your Mother

Procession 10 a.m. Dec. 6

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish

909 E. Washington Street, Phoenix

Mass at Noon

Diocesan Pastoral Center plaza

400 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix

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“One thing that I wish all of my brothers and sisters in the faith understood is that Our Lady of Guadalupe is a mother to all of us, not just Mexicans, not just Hispanics,” Pereyra said.  “She is the patroness of the Americas and the patroness of our diocese.”

Bishop Nevares said the event draws many members of the various ethnic communities in the diocese, including Sudanese, Filipino, Ethiopian, Polish and Vietnamese as well as Mexican.

“It’s an annual celebration where we try to gather all of the faith community together from all different parts of the world, everyone who has love and devotion to our Blessed Mother,” Bishop Nevares said, “that way all the different apparitions of Our Lady can be equally shared and expressed.”

The colorful event usually draws about 3,000 people for the procession that culminates in Mass in the plaza between St. Mary’s Basilica and the Diocesan Pastoral Center. The eucharistic liturgy, Bishop Nevares said, is a time for everyone to “be united in Jesus through Mary, in the beautiful spirituality of St. Louis de Monfort.”

Pereyra said those who attend are witnesses to the role the Mother of God has played in the evangelization of the American continent.

“I especially invite mothers and fathers to bring their children and let them be part of this celebration of the love of our heavenly Mother,” Pereyra said. The event can be a “living catechesis on the significance of the many apparitions of Mary over the course of human history,” Pereyra said.