Faith and fiesta merge at Dia de La Familia

| August 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
Latino faith and culture — including an outdoor Mass — was celebrated Aug. 1 at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis-sponsored Dia de La Familia at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights.

Latino faith and culture — including an outdoor Mass — was celebrated Aug. 1 at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis-sponsored Dia de La Familia at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights.

More than 1,000 people took part in the joint traditions of the Catholic faith and Latino culture Aug. 1 at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis-sponsored Dia de La Familia.

Youngsters took swings at a giant ice cream cone pinata.

Youngsters took swings at a giant ice cream cone pinata.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda presided at the outdoor Mass at the football stadium of St. Thomas Academy in suburban Mendota Heights. The Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator walked the length of the fiesta-like event both before and after Mass, greeting and posing for selfies with young and old from parishes where Spanish-language Masses are celebrated across the 12-county archdiocese.

“Thank you for the beautiful tradition of family life that you bring to the Catholic faith,” the archbishop told Massgoers in the stadium bleachers.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens preached and blessed scores of teen “quinceneros,” a coming-of-age ritual.

Music, dancers, soccer, food and games for children were all part of the free event, and parishes vied for honors in a cook-off to select the best tamales and empanadas.

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