A special celebration will be held at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church on Saturday, Dec. 12, to honor the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas. A special Mass will be held at noon followed by a festive lunch in the parish hall. All are invited.
Father Fernando Molina-Restrepo, pastor of St. Theresa’s in Douglasville, will be the chief celebrant of the bi-lingual Mass, and Father Daniel Fleming, pastor of St. Mary’s, will be con-celebrant. This is the first celebration of the feast day at St. Mary Magdalene.
Father Fernando was assigned to Holy Trinity in Peachtree City when St. Mary Magdalene was “born,” known initially as the Sharpsburg Mission. He often celebrated Mass for the young congregation at Thomas Crossroads School.
Awilda Guadalupe, chairperson of the program, said the committee was “excited at this wonderful opportunity to pay homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a huge feast day in Mexico and we are honored to bring that Hispanic tradition to Newnan.” She said the event would include special devotions before Our Lady’s statue in the church with Hispanic music and singing, assisted by members of the Hispanic music group of Holy Trinity. A bi-lingual program will also be provided.
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe takes place in 1531 in Tepeyac where a peasant named Juan Diego was walking. The apparition of the Blessed Mother appeared, asking him to seek permission from the bishop to build a church on that spot.
Juan tried several times to convince the bishop, but was rejected each time. Finally, the Blessed Mother told Juan to fill his cloak/tilma with flowers he would find at the top of the hill. There, under wintry frost, he found beautiful red roses which he wrapped in his cloak and took to the bishop.
As he opened his cloak, the roses tumbled out revealing the image of Our Lady imprinted on the rough material.
Today, the cloak is found in a church on the site which is visited by many thousands of the faithful seeking her blessing.
St. Mary Magdalene Church is at 3 Village Rd., Newnan, directly behind the new Coweta library and near the sheriff’s office. It is accessible from 154 via Ebenezer Church Road, turning at the Fire Station onto Literary Lane.
The Church can also be reached from Lower Fayetteville Road, turning onto Robinson Pond Road.