Read: Prayerful Thanks for Our Hispanic Communities by Susana Chapa Vargas

Just look at some of these wonderful, colorful images from last night's prayerful celebration of Holy Mass upon the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Flint.

Bishop Earl Boyea was the principal celebrant with the Mass being offered in Spanish. The parish was packed with the lay faithful, some of whom were wearing ponchos and other garments with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe adorning them.

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which commemorates the appearance of Mary to the Mexican peasant Juan Diego in 1531, has long been an important day for Mexican Catholics to celebrate their religious and cultural identity.

As this year's festivities conclude, here is a word of thanks to all clergy and lay faithful who participated from Susana Chapa Vargas, Coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Lansing. Susana writes:

"Es común para nosotros como Hispanos referirnos a esta temporada Navideña como el puente Guadalupe-Reyes, que en realidad comienza el día 3 de diciembre con la novena a la virgen de Guadalupe. El día de ayer todas nuestras comunidades Hispanas celebraron la Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe. He tenido la oportunidad de acompañar a algunas de nuestras comunidades en estas celebraciones y les quiero agradecer a todos por el amor y la piedad con que se han dedicado a preparar todo para festejar a Nuestra Madre del Cielo y por todo lo que estarán preparando con la celebración de las Posadas y las fiestas navideñas. Toda esta temporada de celebraciones no sería lo mismo en nuestra Diócesis sin ese espíritu propio de la Comunidad Hispana."

Translation in English:

"It is common for us as Hispanics to refer to this Christmas season as the Guadalupe-Reyes holiday, which actually begins on December 3rd with the novena to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Yesterday all our Hispanic communities celebrated the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I have had the opportunity to accompany some of our communities in these celebrations and I want to thank all of you for the love and piety with which you have dedicated themselves to prepare everything to celebrate Our Mother of Heaven and for all that you will be preparing with the celebration of the Posadas and the Christmas festivities. This whole season of celebrations would not be the same in our Diocese without the spirit of the Hispanic Community."

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!