December 5, 2012. (Romereports.com) On December 12, the Americas celebrates its patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe. But Rome is also joining in on the celebration. This year's feast at the Vatican will be extra special.
The date also recognizes the 15th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops for the Americas. FromDecember 9-12 nearly 250 representatives from the Americas will travel to Rome for the “Ecclessia in America” Conference. It will be done in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, which is the biggest lay organization in the U.S.
Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus
“For more than a century the Knights of Columbus have been active in the United States, in Canada, in Mexico, Cuba and in Central America. So the question of Ecclessia in America, looking at the Western Hemisphere is one Christian Hemisphere that has been part of the work of the Knights of Columbus for many many years, so when we received the invitation from the commission of Latin America to participate in this we were very pleased to do so.”
Among the hundreds of representatives, there will be five cardinals and 40 bishops from the Americas, but this year will have an interesting twist.
Secretary, Pontifical Commission for Latin America
“Many North American bishops will be attending. This is very interesting because they are American bishops with Hispanic roots. So they will be special witnesses of this communion we want to create among churches.”
One of key speeches will be given by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He directly understands that Catholics in the Americas, make up 50 percent of Catholics worldwide.
CARD. MARC OUELLET
President, Pontifical Commission for Latin America
“Hispanics who migrate to the U.S take a spiritual patrimony with them. They have strong traditions and a faith that's much stronger than in the countries they migrate to. Those countries need this influx of culture to revive their religious values and Christian roots. That's why immigrants are a key part of the New Evangelization.”
In addition to discussion forums, this congress will also include gatherings with the Pope. The first one will be a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on December 9th, to officially mark the start of the congress. During the Mass saint Juan Diego will be honored. Benedict XVI will not lead the Mass, but he will briefly attend. The second Mass will be held on December 12th, to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
If the weather is nice and there's no rain, those attending the Congress will welcomed into the Vatican to pray the rosary before the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.