Two of St. Joseph High School's Hispanic students took part in the church's annual procession on December 11 from downtown Conway to St. Joseph Church in commemoration of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Throughout the Hispanic Catholic community in the U.S. and Latin America, this celebration harkens back to December of 1531 when a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego experienced apparitions of the Virgin Mary on Mount Tepeyac near Mexico City. This included roses he'd picked and placed in his cloak which later turned miraculously into an image of the Blessed Mother.
Sophomore Jesus Sanchez was one of the candle bearers leading the church procession and freshman America Gonzalez is a member of the colorful La Danza San Jose Hispanic heritage dance group that followed. Upon arrival in the church for the regular Hispanic Mass, the procession passed by a flowered-covered altar decorating the iconic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. After the church service, a special meal was served. Of St. Joseph's approximately 1,900 registered families, about 250 are Hispanic.
Jesus Sanchez is seen at the far right of the photo on the left bearing a candle. America Gonzalez is seen in the individual dancer shot. St. Joseph pastor Father Tony Robbins is also pictured in the center of the first photo.