Large numbers at Oakland diocese’s Guadalupe ceremony

More than 7,600 people participated in the 7.5-mile procession, overflow crowd filled Cathedral of Christ the Light, the parish hall and the plaza for Mass afterwards

Many floats depicted the scene of St. Juan Diego meeting Our Lady. (Chris Silva/The Catholic Voice)

The 12th diocesan pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe drew a record number of participants on Dec. 2.

Héctor Medina, head of the diocesan Latino ministry, said this year organizers made an effort to count the participants, showing more than 7,600 people involved in the 7.5-mile procession. Later, an overflow crowd filled the Cathedral of Christ the Light, the parish hall and the plaza for Mass.

Catholic scholars say the dark-skinned image of Mary, known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, also has been identified by leaders of the universal Catholic Church as the face of the new evangelization. The story of how Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego, a poor Aztec Indian in 1531 near present-day Mexico City, brought more than 6 million indigenous people into the Catholic faith within a decade.

The Dec. 2 march with floats, dancers in traditional costume and people began at St. Louis Bertrand Church in Oakland, coursed down International Boulevard and along Lake Merritt to the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Full story at Catholic Voice Oakland.

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, center, is about to bless one of the many floats in the annual procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. With him from left, Rev. Alexander Castillo, Deacon Arturo Bazan and Rev. Hugo França. (Chris Silva/The Catholic Voice)

The cathedral, parish hall and plaza were filled with the faithful for Mass. (Chris Silva/The Catholic Voice)

More than 7,600 pilgrims participated in the 7.5-mile walk. (Chris Silva/The Catholic Voice)

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