DRAPER – The Virgin Mary was celebrated with all her different representations by hundreds of Catholics who gathered at the 2012 Intercultural Marian Celebration, held Sept. 23 at the Skaggs Catholic Center.
Africans, Koreans, Hispanics, Tongans, Filipinos, Samoans, Croatians, Poles and Germans, among others, were represented by their country flags and by images of their culture’s representations of the Virgin Mary.
The celebration began with the Holy Rosary recited in English, Tagalog, Korean, Spanish, Croatian and African. Afterward, a procession led by the Knights of Columbus, some acolytes and children dressed as angels circled the drive in front of the Skaggs Center. Each cultural community carried an image of the Virgin and their country’s flag; many of those in the procession sang as they walked.
"I think the most important thing is that we all are brothers and sisters no matter the flag that we are carrying," said Andy Wischmann, a Saint John the Baptist parishioner who is originally from Germany.
After the procession, Mass was celebrated in St. Saint John the Baptist Church by Monsignor Terence Moore, pastor. The Mass included a Prayer of Consecration of Our Lady of Evangelization for the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI called a Year of Faith beginning Oct. 11 and ending Nov. 24, 2013.
"The theme of the Year of Faith called by our Holy Father is evangelization, so we are celebrating Our Lady of Evangelization because she was the first Lady to evangelize her heart; she was the Holy Mother of Jesus, who gave him to all of us, so she was the first evangelizer," Msgr. Moore said.
Members of all the communities were happy to be able to celebrate their culture and their faith together, as Saame Beasama from the Tongan community expressed.
"This is part of our culture, to praise and share our faith," said Beasama. "We want also to show everybody else that Tongans feel very special to form part of this celebration."
Margarita Medina, a Saint Francis Xavier parishioner, was part of the Hispanic presence at the event and attended with her husband and children.
"This is the first time that we came to this celebration and it’s very important because we can celebrate our faith and show our children this is what we are, so they can learn," said Medina.
For Agnes Yoon, from the Korean community, the importance of this type of celebrations is that all the diverse communities can become one.
"This celebration is important because we are all united, we all have special feelings for Mary. This is a really good occasion for us to unite, to get together," said Yoon.
Miguela Evangelista, who is a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Magna and member of the Filipino community, said she and her sister Maria wanted to participate in the celebration because it is important to learn about other cultures. "It is important to share our beliefs," said Evangelista.