All are invited to the bilingual Mass, in Spanish and English, at Warwick’s Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr on the first Sunday of each month at 6 pm.
On Jan. 8, for example, the Spanish ministry celebrated the Epiphany, the visit of the Three Kings (Los Tres Reyes), to worship the Child Jesus in Bethlehem. The Mass, with prayers said in Spanish, was celebrated by the Rev. Reynor Santiago who gave his homily in English.
Judy Battista, who directs the Spanish ministry, reported that the children of the Bilingual Family Faith Formation classes dressed as the holy family, kings, angels, and shepherds in a procession at the beginning of the Mass. And at its conclusion they sang Feliz Navidad for the congregation. Santiago gave them all a very special blessing.
“We then shared the traditional Sweet bread, Rosca, which has a hidden statue of the Baby Jesus, “said Battista. “Whoever was blessed to get that has to bring the Tamales for the February Candlemas (Candelaria). It was a wonderful way to complete the Christmas season.”
The Spanish ministry also celebrates The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and other celebrations preceded by Faith Formation classes.
“Last December,” said Battista, “we honored our Lady of Guadalupe with a special bilingual mass with our pastor, Fr. Jack Arlotta, as celebrant. The Mariachi band, Viva Mexico, played during the service. And Mayor Michael Newhard came to give a warm welcome in Spanish.”
She added that after Mass, everyone enjoyed a celebration featuring music provided by the Mariachi band, cultural dance groups and traditional Mexican food.
The traditional bi-lingual Candlemas will be held at 6 pm on Sunday, Feb. 5.
“Part of our ministry,” said Battista, “is to tend to those who need help translating and being an advocate for families. We also conduct faith formation classes in preparation for receiving the sacraments. And we also have prayer groups and offer encouragement and support for a most hard working and humble community.”
For additional information, email Battista at firstname.lastname@example.org or call St. Stephen’s Parish office at 845-986-4028.
- Roger Gavan
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The children of the Bilingual Family Faith Formation classes dressed as the holy family, kings, angels and shepherds. The Rev. Reynor Santiago gave them all a very special blessing. Photo by Rocco Battista.