¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?
Cuix amo nican nica nimonantzin?
Am I not here, I who am your mother?
The parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Albuquerque (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Alburquerque) is a vibrant community of Catholic Christians nestled in the historic North Valley neighborhoods of Los Griegos and Los Candelarias. The parish was formally organized after World War II, however, the historic chapels on both Griegos Road and Candelaria Road served as missions in the area since the 1800s from the nearby mother parish of San Felipe Neri. After the church building dedication in 1954, the community continued to grow with a parish hall, grotto, fiesta facilities, and most recently, a new gathering space. Rev. Joe D. Vigil currently leads the parish and he replaced Rev. Ramón F. Aragón who was the pastor for many years previously.
The daily bilingual Mass is at 9:00 am while the weekend English Masses are Saturdays at 5:30 pm and Sundays at 7:30 am, 10:00 am, and 6:30 pm. The 12:30 pm Mass on Sundays is in Spanish, the local language spoken in the area for centuries. The Guadalupe community is proud of its bilingual and bicultural identity.
The parish feast of December 12 begins with the annual Mañanitas Guadalupanas which start the evening of December 11 with serenades and dances and then culminates with the singing of the traditional Mexican serenade, Las Mañanitas, at midnight. The following day the parish holds a special feast Mass after the traditional novena ends. Because the parish feast day is in December, the annual parish Fiestas de Guadalupe are held the third weekend of August when the weather is warmer.
The parish is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as Santa María de Guadalupe in Spanish, the patron saint of Mexico and the Americas. She holds a special place in the hearts of many Catholics, especially those of Hispanic and Mexican heritage. She appeared to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, a Náhutal-speaking Native American, from December 9, 1531 until December 12, 1531 at Tepeyac Hill just north of Mexico City. On December 12, her image miraculously appeared on his tilma, or cloak, along with Castilian roses. During one of her apparitions she posed an infamous question, in Náhutal, to the humble Juan Diego: “Am I not here, I who am your mother?.” The devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe quickly spread throughout Mexico and traveled from Mexico City north with the Spanish-Mexican settlers who first came to New Mexico beginning in 1598 and who continue to do so until the present day. Many recent arrivals to Albuquerque are drawn to the parish because of the Guadalupe name. The Guadalupana presence can be felt across New Mexico, the southwest U.S., and throughout Mexico with counties, towns, mountains, churches, chapels, barrios, parks, and other sister parishes bearing the name Guadalupe because of her importance in Hispanic and Mexican cultures. You can read about the Guadalupana story in more detail here in Spanish.