Diocesan News

Marian Festival Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe Tickets Still Available for March 27 Celebration

LINCOLN (SNR) - In celebration of the 475th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Nebraska State Council of the Knights of Columbus is hosting a Marian Festival at Pershing Center in Lincoln March 27. The event will feature several nationally known speakers, local recording artist Ellen Soukup and more.

“This event honors Mary as she strives to bring us closer to her divine son, Jesus Christ,” said Mike Conrad, state deputy for the Nebraska State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

The keynote speaker will be Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, the postulator for the cause of Saint Juan Diego. St. Juan Diego was the indigenous peasant who was privileged to receive the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He was canonized in 2002.

Msgr. Chavez is one of the world’s most renowned experts on the Guadalupe apparitions. He has drawn large crowds as he has spoken at various venues throughout the U.S. on a tour sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

At the festival, Msgr. Chavez will present the historical context of the apparitions and explore the resulting effects on the evangelization of the Americas. He will also delve into the rich symbolism of various aspects of the apparition, including the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe itself. The image miraculously appeared on St. Juan Diego’s cloak and has been miraculously preserved over the centuries.

Msgr. Chavez’s inspiring talk will show how one humble, uneducated man was able to bring the Gospel to an entire continent, thanks to Mary’s intercession and the miracles that ensued. These miracles convinced the indigenous people of Mexico and the surrounding nations to exchange their traditional paganism for Christianity. In a relatively short time, six million native Mexicans had been baptized by the Church.

“Her message today is as timely as it was in 1531,” Mr. Conrad said. “Although during these five centuries she has come to symbolize many things, hers is ultimately a message of peace and unity.”

Lauren Bauer, a former professional softball player and rosary advocate, will also speak at the festival. Once a successful athlete who used sports as an escape from the troubles of her broken family, Miss Bauer went through a profound transformation and now serves as an evangelist with Catholic Athletes for Christ. She will share her story of love for the faith.

The program also includes entertainers. Catholic contemporary singer and songwriter Ellen Soukup will perform, and ethnic dancers will bring more of the Mexican culture to the celebration.

“This event offers people an opportunity to deepen their faith and be a part of a historical, religious event that will be talked about for years to come,” stated Mr. Conrad.

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