The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12) was celebrated with a Mass and a meal at Blessed Sacrament Church, Rapid City. Bishop Peter Muhich was the principal celebrant at the bilingual Mass. Fathers Mark Horn, Tim Hoag, Collins Iwiglo, Dan Juelfs, Tony Grossenburg, and Brian Christensen concelebrated.

The Mass fell on the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice,” and suring his homily, Father Adam Hofer explained hour Our Lady brings us to that  joy, “It’s the love of God that is unbreakable and the source of true joy. And it’s Our Lady of Guadalupe that leads us to that joy. Even when she appeared she gave us the message — we have the source of our joy is firm in Jesus.”

The celebration recalls the miraculous apparitions of the brown-skinned Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico, in December 1531. She appeared to Juan Diego three times and the last time filled his tilma (cloak) with roses. When he emptied his cloak of the roses, he found that it bore her image. In the decades after her appearance, millions of indigenous people converted to the faith. In 1999, then-Pope John Paul II, in a homily given at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, declared December 12 as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent. During the same visit, Pope John Paul II entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born. She is the Patroness of the unborn and the Americas.