The following comes from a notice on the Orange diocese website in mid-December.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange hosted the first diocesan event to be held within the future Christ Cathedral, December 14th as newly installed Bishop Kevin Vann joined hundreds for the annual Las Posadas celebration. Las Posadas commemorates Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey to the birth place of Jesus. The “Posada” means lodging or shelter in Spanish.
Las Posadas is believed to have originated during the 1500s when early Friars combined Spanish Catholicism with a December Aztec celebration. Today, Las Posadas has evolved into a religious and social festivity reminding us of the virtue of hospitality.
The observance began as Mary and Joseph, Shepherds, Angels and parishioners gathered outside the church – small children were invited to dress as shepherds and angels. The procession followed Mary and Joseph to locations around the Garden Grove campus where they were symbolically denied entry. Then, Bishop Vann welcomed the procession into the Cathedral and Las Posadas concluded with a traditional prayer service honoring the journey of the holy family, in Spanish.
The Diocese of Orange has more than doubled in size in the past decade, and much of the increase is attributed to the growth of the Hispanic community. Approximately a third of the population in Orange County is now of Hispanic origin and more than half of the parishes within the diocese celebrate Mass in Spanish.