December 12 – the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is probably one of our most festive gatherings held at Saint Elizabeth Seton School. The school gymnasium is lined with tables and chairs to accommodate the entire school and visitors, for a morning breakfast that is celebrated together. Parents build a beautiful shrine in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and everyone is served traditional La Abuelita hot chocolate and Mexican breads. A Mariachi band plays festive music while students perform Folklorico dance for all to enjoy. Many students, both boys and girls, come to school in cultural dress. The canonization of Juan Diego in 2002 makes for an even greater celebration.
It is moving to read the accounts of Guadalupe. In them the Virgin Mary, the handmaid “who glorified the Lord” (Lk 1:46), reveals herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of the true God. As a sign, she gives him precious roses, and as he shows them to the Bishop, he discovers the blessed image of Our Lady imprinted on his tilma.
Las Posadas is also an important part of the Mexican Christmas traditions. This novenario (nine days of religious observance) is celebrated chiefly in Mexico and by Mexican-Americans in the Southwestern United States. It begins on December 16 and ends on December 24. Many of the Saint Elizabeth Seton families will participate in Las Posadas on December 17.