FILLMORE — Two Sisters of the order of Santa Ana from Aguascalientes, Mexico celebrated Holy Week at Holy Family Mission in Fillmore.
Sister Bertha Araceli Ibarra González and Sister Bertha Alicia Martínez González also led a retreat for Holy Family, Saint Bridget and Saint John Bosco parishioners who were preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
"We had people from other towns participating and it was very exciting," said Sr. Martínez.
This is the second year in a row that the sisters have shared their mission in Utah. These visits have been possible through the help of Father Hernando Diaz, Holy Family pastor, and Angélica de León, a parishioner.
During the year the parishioners collected the funds needed to be able to invite the religious women to visit.
"The idea is for us to come here to live Holy Week, very similar to what we do in Mexico," said Sr. Martínez. "So here we are."
On Good Friday the Sisters organized a living Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in which different parishioners took part. The 14 Stations of the Cross were located all over the city of Fillmore.
"People here have learned about our loving God this way," said Sr. Martinez. "In Mexico this is part of the popular culture and its purpose is to remind us of the great love that God has for us."
"He offered his own son for our salvation," said Sr. Ibarra.
Most of the parishioners at Holy Family Mission are from Mexico, said Fr. Diaz.
"Back in Mexico they learned to live this season this way, and celebrating it reminds them of the faith, hope and charity," added Sr. Martínez. "We are here on a mission; we are missionaries and we come to a mission and I simply love this; we are able to share the faith with our people. Being here, I feel like I am still in Mexico because there are many people from there."
One parishioner told the sisters that it had been more than 16 years since he had celebrated the Easter rituals, but he was excited that he would be able to do so this year.
"For me it’s a great joy to be able to share; coming here, being with the people and helping them remember their values, their culture, and the joy of belonging to the Catholic Church," said Sr. Ibarra. "What we do is very simple but with a lot of love. We have done all the rituals," she added, referring to the fact that they celebrated the Service of the Light, the washing of the feet and the Stations of the Cross.