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Diocese Celebrates Annual Hispanic Heritage Mass

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The annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration, held Saturday, October 8, 2011, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, NC, drew nearly 1,000 people from the diverse Hispanic cultures in the Diocese of Raleigh. This year the celebration took the theme “Papa Peregrino, Camina Conmigo” (“Pilgrim Pope, Walk With Me”) in honor of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The celebration began with a catechetical presentation led by Fr. Chesco Garcia-Gonzalez. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, then offered Mass in Spanish, with Father Carlos N. Arce, Diocesan Vicar for Hispanics, as the homilist. Fourteen other priests of the Diocese concelebrated.

Each year, the Mass is offered in one of the eight deaneries of the Diocese. The annual Mass recognizes and pays tribute to the many gifts Hispanic immigrants bring to the Church and communities throughout the Diocese. The celebration highlights the rich faith of the Hispanic people, their strong family values and their dedicated work ethic. People from 20 Latin American countries reside in the Diocese of Raleigh.

A luncheon with music and dancing showing the culture of various Latin America cultures followed the Mass.

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Father Carlos N. Arce, Diocesan Vicar for Hispanics during homily at Hispanic Heritage Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.

Above: Father Carlos N. Arce, Diocesan Vicar for Hispanics, during homily at Hispanic Heritage Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.