Centro San Juan Diego Monthly Newsletter
Finding Hope in Death, Celebrating
Día de los Muertos
Growing up in northern Mexico, I always remember going to the cemetery with my parents to visit our deceased relatives, particularly around the time of “
Día de los Muertos.
” While experiencing this tradition at a young age made me realize that we all die one day, it also instilled great hope--a hope that people throughout Mexico and Latin America all share when they commemorate the faithfully departed on November 1
of every year.
Día de los Muertos
is more than a “Mexican Halloween.” It is a celebration that traces back to pre-colonial times, in which ancient peoples (like the Mayan, Olmec, Mexicas, etc.) would honor the lives of their deceased by setting aside times of celebration and ritual, usually coinciding with the start of the harvest season. During the colonization of Mexico, missionaries saw these rituals as a connection to the Christian celebrations of All Saints and All Souls and used them as opportunities to evangelize.
Today, we celebrate this tradition focusing on the
Altar de Muertos
, or Altar for the Dead. This altar is a tangible way of remembering members of our families and communities. Families come together to create the altar, filling it with symbols that serve as a bridge between life and death.
This celebration is a hopeful reminder that our relationships with loved ones do not end with death but are preserved and even strengthened in Christ. In the celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of All Souls, our Church proclaims that death does not interrupt our unity with those that sleep in Christ but enriches it, assuring us that the deceased who “have been received into their heavenly home…do not cease to intercede with the Father for us.” (Lumen Gentium #49).
Thanks to Christ’s victory over death, we as Catholics are invited to live with hope and with the reassurance that death is not an end, but the beginning of a fuller, deeper unity in Christ.
Let us not forget those that have parted, particularly all those who have died during this COVID-19 pandemic; pray for them and honor their lives with prayer and intercession so we, like Saint Paul, can joyfully say: “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Philippians 1:21).
Creados Para Amar
, Strengthening Relationships and Breaking the Cycle of Violence
Thanks to generous support from the Celebrating the Life of Liberty Ledezma Foundation, whose mission is to provide intervention, education, and prevention of domestic violence, Centro San Juan Diego is excited to launch a new program,
Creados Para Amar
(Created for Love).
Using an educational approach, this program will train Spanish-speaking leaders throughout the Archdiocese of Denver in domestic violence prevention and detection as well as prepare them to educate others. The fundamental purpose of this program is to increase awareness of domestic violence within the Hispanic community and to foster healthy relationships and families.
This intensive program will include 40 hours of virtual classroom instruction provided by the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla's (UPAEP) Continuing Education department followed by further training on local laws, resources, and referrals.
In addition to completing the full training, program participants will be required to present what they have learned to their own communities and parish groups. Using this train-the-trainer model, the goal of the program is to educate and share important knowledge and resources with as many as people as possible.
For more information on this program, please call 303-282-3372 or 303-715-2459.
: Catholic Formation for Virtuous Families
Earlier this year, Centro San Juan Diego, the Office of Hispanic Evangelization, and Vuela for Health collaborated to offer
, a program for parents and teens designed to strengthen the whole family. Each week, parents and kids came together for a series of workshops and activities. Parents learned more about how to set limits and boundaries, protect their kids from drug and alcohol use, and develop more effective communication, while teens worked on stress management techniques, resisting peer pressure, and learning how to develop stronger, healthier relationships with both their parents and friends.
In an effort to expand on
and apply its teachings from a Catholic perspective, Centro and the Hispanic Evangelization Office have teamed up once again and created a new program called
which launched on September 24th. This program seeks to provide families with practical tools and knowledge to achieve a more holistic formation focused on Christian principles, intellectual and human development, and more! The ultimate goal is to empower families to acknowledge God's call in their lives and serve as true Christian witnesses.
“I pray that we will soon see the day when Colorado embraces a culture of life and recognizes the dignity of every human life at every stage of life, from conception to natural death.”
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila
on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 8:00AM