In my hometown in Michigan, my father help found the Catholic Church for Mexican Americans. Back in those times, most of the Mexican Americans were migrants brought up to Michigan by the State of Michigan and the various Farm Bureaus to harvest the crops. Most of the migrant families were from Texas and Mexico. Most did not speak English. After the busy harvest season, many of the men who decided to stay in Michigan with their families found jobs in the auto industry as my father did.
Most of the migrants were Catholic, as my family was Catholic. Many of the Catholic churches conducted various masses in Spanish, just for the migrant workers. Our church was the same.
Within a few years, there were a significant number of Mexican American families. My father, along with several other Mexican American leaders, petitioned the church for their own Mexican American church. With so many new members, the church complied.
The church provided was previously an old Baptist Church. It was in an older section of town and the building was built around the turn of the previous century. All the parishioners pitched in and help refurbish the church, painting meeting rooms and the church itself.
During Holidays, everyone helped to festively decorate the church. The year it was established, at Christmastime, we conducted our first Posada.
Las Posadas were a special time in our church. We reenacted Joseph´s journey with Mary to Bethlehem. Las Posadas started on December 16 and continued through Christmas Eve. Our families went to church every evening during this time for the reenactment. We went from house to house and sang songs. It was a beautiful time of togetherness. It also helped all of us understand the true meaning of Christmas. Mary and Joseph arrived at the inn and we were all welcomed in for the birth of Christ at Christmastime.
When I think of those times, I think of the birth of Christ, the singing and the feeling that we were all joined together in this Celebration of the True Meaning of Christmas!