Diocesan News

Celebrating Mary Is More Than an Obligation for Corona Parishioners

Parish children dressed in the pink vestments representing El Nino Divino process in the streets of Corona. Photos by Antonina Zielinska


By Antonina Zielinska

When Catholics filled Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel, Corona, to celebrate the feast of the Assumption, they did so out of love, not obligation.

Father William Hoppe, pastor, follows parishioners carrying a statue and a banner of Mary during an outdoor procession.

Because the Feast of the Assumption, normally a holy day of obligation, fell on a Saturday this year, Catholics were not obligated to attend Mass. However, Father Diego Villegas said that the parishioners of St. Leo’s parish, which the Mount Carmel Chapel is a part of, have a great love for the Mother of God.

“The great love we have for her motivated us to show that love in the street,” the parochial vicar said.

“I cannot leave my Mama Mary by herself” on her feast day, said parishioner Rosanna Pereyra. “I have to be here today with my family: the parishioners.”

Candles and flowers outlining the shape of a rosary served as an aid to prayer for the intercession for the continents.

St. Leo parishioners started their celebration with a lively and prayerful procession from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel to St. Leo Church. Men carrying a statue of Mary, women carrying banners and children dressed in the pink vestments representing Nino Divino led the procession through the streets of Corona where people stopped to take notice.

“We’re evangelizing to the community,” said parishioner Maria Rodriguez, who along with Pereyra, is on the Evangelization Committee of the Pastoral Council.

As they reached the Church of St. Leo, the marchers gathered in front of a life-size statue of the Virgin. At her feet lay candles making the shape of a rosary on the pavement. Each decade was a different color to represent the different continents. Parishioners prayed the glorious mysteries, in Spanish, English and Italian, asking for Mary’s intercession for each continent.

Photo by Father Diego Villegas.

Father William Hoppe, pastor, thanked the parishioners for sharing their great devotion and for saying the rosary in public view. He also thanked those parishioners who on Aug. 12 stayed in the church until 10 p.m. making rosaries in preparation for the celebration.

Martha Rickey, from St. Margaret’s Church, Middle Village, came to show a group of 60 adults and 15 children how to make rosaries. They all made rosaries of their own unique design that were then blessed and distributed during the celebration of the Assumption.

The rosaries were also made with the intention of promoting the National 54 Day Rosary Novena, Pereyra said.The Rosary Evangelization Apostolate organized the novena on the national level with the primary intention for family and marriage, including peace, human life and religious freedom. The first 27 days are to be made in petition and the last 27, ending on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Oct. 7, are to be made in thanksgiving.

After the outdoor rosary, the St. Leo crowd made its way into the Church for a trilingual Mass.

Spanish, English and Italian speakers gather before a life-size statute of Mary to ask for the intercession of the woman who was taken up to heaven in soul and body.
Parishioners spent a Wednesday evening crafting rosaries to be blessed and distributed during the Assumption festivities. Photo by Father Diego Villegas.