An Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine stands in St. Catherine Church. (Courtesy St. Catherine Parish)
An Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine stands in St. Catherine Church. (Courtesy St. Catherine Parish)
VENETA — Looking back a month, Advent was a time to reflect and to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Yet, too often, that’s overlooked as people rush and hurry to buy presents, decorate trees and throw parties.

At St. Catherine Parish here, a new addition to the season helped keep it holy. “Five Days with Mary,” could not have happened without the efforts of the Filipino and Hispanic communities.

On Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, parishioners held a procession to the Marian shrine in the church’s front yard. There, carefully strung lights were turned on and continued to illuminate the image of Mary throughout the Christmas season.

Dec. 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, saw special decorations hung in the church during the day for eucharistic adoration followed by a Mass in Spanish and a tamale dinner. Live music was provided by musicians from St. Helen Parish in Junction City. On Dec. 10, parishioners gathered to view the movie “Mary of Nazareth,” and on Dec. 11, teams gathered to prepare care packages for people who are homeless.

On Dec. 12, Gaudete Sunday and the date usually marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, parish children presented a Christmas play. The 5 p.m. Mass was bilingual, English and Spanish, and a Guadalupe potluck with live music followed.

Davis is a Sentinel ambassador for her parish.