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Premiers 8 a.m. Easter Sunday on Azteca America

CHICAGO, IL (March 20, 2008) – On Easter Sunday, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Hispanic Catholics will launch the first locally produced Spanish language Mass for Chicago-area television viewers. La Santa Misa Dominical, (The Sacred Sunday Mass) will premiere on Sunday, March 23 at 8 a.m., on the Azteca America network, WOCK-TV and its affiliate stations.

The program will feature a welcome and introduction by Fr. Claudio Diaz, Jr., Director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics. “This is certain to become a powerful vehicle for evangelization, that will meet a hunger for the Gospel message delivered in the audience’s native tongue as well as in their own cultural context,” said Fr. Diaz. “The program should be seen as supplemental, not as a substitute, for their Sunday obligation of attending Mass, and participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist, if they are able to do so.”

The weekly Mass will offer the opportunity for different priests to serve as principal celebrants. Parish communities will be invited throughout the year to participate in the Mass by bringing groups of 30 people to the taping, which will take place at the Casa Jesus Seminary chapel on the grounds of Holy Name Cathedral Parish, State and Superior Streets in Chicago.

La Santa Misa Dominical will target a number of audiences including Spanish-speaking Catholics, non-practicing Catholics, non-Catholic Christians and those physically unable to attend Mass because of illness or other circumstances. The Mass will also be a vehicle to supplement the spiritual formation of those Catholics already actively involved in their faith formation.

Forty-four percent of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 2.3 million Catholics are of Hispanic origin, and 149 of its 363 parishes offer a Spanish language Mass.

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