Although cold, rainy weather moved the festivities indoors, it couldn’t dampen a celebration of Hispanic heritage and history Oct. 2 at St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington.
The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, who expressed his gratitude for all the gifts and blessings the Hispanic community brings to the diocese.
Father Eliberto Garcia, Parish Vicar, gave the homily and reminded everyone to be grateful for the rich cultural traditions, but above all to thank God for the greatest treasure of all: faith in Jesus Christ.
After mass, the festival began at Burke Hall, where Latin American dishes awaited the congregation, including pupusas, carne asada, baleadas, elotes locos, arroz con leche and a variety of fruits.
The event featured Hispanic music, with cumbias and romantic songs, as well as dancing. A group of young adults and a group of girls from Holy Family Church in Dale City delighted the crowd by performing Salvadoran dances. A group from All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas immersed attendees in a Mexican scene with an impressive dance by the Tecuanes.
Gifts were raffled as part of the entertainment and the children enjoyed various activities and games in the cathedral school gymnasium.
“I am extremely grateful to Bishop Burbidge for sharing with our Hispanic community during this celebration of our heritage,” said Joel de Loera, director of the Hispanic Apostolate. “I also thank Father Michael Posey, Rector of the Cathedral, Father Garcia, the Hispanic Committee of the Cathedral, my incredible staff, all the volunteers from the different parishes and everyone who participated for making this beautiful celebration possible. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!