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25th ANNUAL ARCHDIOCESAN POSADA TO BE CELEBRATED AT
HOLY NAME CATHEDRAL AND THE GOLD COAST

Sunday, December 18, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Chicago, IL (December 14, 2011) – The Office for Hispanic Catholics will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Archdiocesan Posada on Sunday, December 18, beginning at 7 p.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior Streets in Chicago.  Hundreds of Catholics, representing parishes from across the Archdiocese of Chicago, will come together to celebrate the Posada, which is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter.

In keeping with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s  Year of Teens and Young Adults, this year’s Posada has as its theme, “Following the footsteps of Joseph and Mary we walk with our youth; proud of the past and building the future…”

The evening’s celebration will begin at 7 p.m. when Fr. Marco Mercado, Director of the Office of Hispanic Catholics, welcomes all participants to the Cathedral, including those portraying Mary, Joseph, the angel and Shepherds.  Various parish teen and young adult groups will lead the Rosary in English and Spanish, followed by a reading of the Gospel and a brief explanation of the Posada symbols.
 
Immediately after a group of teens from St. Gall Parish perform a short, traditional variation on the Nativity story called a “Pastorela,” or “Shepherd's Tale, all attendees will be invited to participate in the pilgrimage starting from Holy Name Cathedral’s main doors on State Street.  The procession, along with those portraying Mary, Joseph, the angel and shepherds on a float, will follow a route north toward Chicago Avenue, east toward Michigan Avenue, south to Huron Street and west back to State Street returning to the steps of the Cathedral. Throughout the 40 minute pilgrimage, participants will sing “Villancicos” or traditional Christmas songs.

Upon arriving at the main doors of Holy Name Cathedral, the pilgrims will knock, asking in song for “Posada” or “Shelter.” The choir inside will answer and trade versus with the pilgrims until the doors are opened.  After a final prayer and blessing, all will be invited to continue the celebration with the traditional breaking of the piñatas in the Cathedral’s parking lot.  As they exit the Cathedral, all children will be given “Aguinaldos,” or bags of “treats” filled with oranges, apples, peanuts and candy.  Complimentary tamales and hot chocolate will be available for all participants.

Information about the Archdiocesan Posada can be found in English, Spanish and Polish, under Resources for the Advent and Christmas Seasons  on the Archdiocesan website, www.archchicago.org, or by contacting Fr. Marco Mercado, Director, Office for Hispanic Catholics, 312-534-1080, mmercado@archchicago.org.

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