This year’s diocesan celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “Honor Your Mother,” will be held Dec. 8 and will once again feature hundreds of matchines from throughout the diocese. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

Organizers of this year’s Dec. 8 “Honor Your Mother” celebration are gearing up for the procession and outdoor Mass that continues to draw devotees of Our Lady of Guadalupe to downtown Phoenix each year.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale and St. Benedict Parish are sponsoring the seventh annual event.

Deacon Doug Davaz of St. Benedict Parish said organizers are hoping for all parishes to join in the celebration this year.

“It is a cornerstone of our faith that we honor Mary as Mother of God,” Deacon Davaz said. “During this Year of Faith, it’s entirely appropriate that we join together with Catholics from across the diocese to celebrate this event.”

The day begins with a colorful procession departing from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at Washington and Ninth Street at 10:30 a.m. Traditional Mexican dancers, floats and faithful from parishes around the Diocese of Phoenix will start lining up in front of Immaculate Heart at 8:30 a.m.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares will concelebrate the noon Mass. Fr. Gary Regula, pastor of St. Benedict, will be the homilist.

Paula Baldovino, a member of the Guadalupanos group at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is helping organize the celebration. The Guadalupanos, who pray the rosary together every Thursday at the Glendale parish chapel, have been busy passing out fliers and inviting other parishes to join in the festivities.

“Just thinking about [Our Lady of Guadalupe], I feel so much emotion,” Baldovino said, her voice breaking. “She is there for us to intercede in our lives and take our petitions to her Son.”

In 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared to San Juan Diego, asking that a church be built in her honor. As proof of her instruction, Juan Diego gathered roses into his tilma, or cactus-fiber cloak, and presented them to the local bishop.

The roses left the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a mestiza woman, that reflected both Spanish and indigenous features.