ND Community to celebrate Las Posadas
Selena Ponio | Tuesday, December 2, 2014
The Notre Dame community will celebrate its Catholic tradition and Latin American ties by hosting Las Posadas from Dec. 2-4 at 9 p.m. The celebration, whose Spanish title translates to “lodging,” represents Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before Jesus’ birth. This year, Las Posadas begins at The Grotto and ends in Keenan Hall, Farley Hall and the Coleman-Morse Center on each of the three respective nights.
Multiple student organizations on campus including Campus Ministry, Coro Primavera and the Latino Student Alliance worked in tandem to plan and generate participation in this year’s Las Posadas, Farley Hall rector and Las Posadas organizer Elaine DeBassige said.
“To see the diverse ways of how we come together as a spiritual community is really important,” DeBassige said. “We also have to remember to be like Christ in the season of Advent and have our hearts and doors open to all those who need a place of shelter.”
DeBassige said the celebration brought back memories of her childhood in New Mexico.
“Back in my hometown, it ended at midnight mass in the church and took place in 11 other houses,” she said.
DeBassige said her mom volunteered her family’s house to be one of the destinations for Las Posadas in their small village every year.
DeBassige said she too helps designate the path Las Posadas celebrants will follow through the University’s campus. She said Keenan Hall was a logical host of one of the nights because it is Farley’s brother dorm.
“Last year the path from The Grotto to the two dorms worked really well,” DeBassige said. “What’s different this year is that we are ending at Campus Ministry.”
DeBassige said that, although she was not disappointed with last year’s turn out, she hopes an increase in club involvement will translate to an increase in student attendance.
“Last year, there were a total of about 150 people over the three nights which was great,” DeBassige said. “It was more than what I thought.”
DeBassige said she anticipates a large turnout this year due to better publicity and relatively tamer weather.
“I think it’s a good way to represent Catholic traditions and culture in a way that involves a lot more people than just Latinos,” Juan Rangel, multicultural senior intern for Campus Ministry, said.
Members of the Notre Dame community will sing hymns, pray and eat food during Las Posadas in order to celebrate this journey.
“Prayer and music and reflection demonstrates the colorfulness of the culture,” Rangel said.
DeBassige said aside from prayers and songs of worship, Las Posadas incorporates a social element. The event provides opportunities to socialize over food and beverages served by the host location.
“My favorite part growing up was helping my mom make the food for the event,” DeBassige said. “It was a time to welcome people into your home … and a time of hospitality.”