NEW HAVEN – Fiesta! Aug. 23 was a day of celebration as parishioners from the vibrant St. Rose of Lima Parish honored their patron saint with a Mass and veneration of a statue of the patron of the Americas followed by a four-hour street festival that included games, music, rock climbing, balloons, magic, and foods and dances indigenous to the 18 countries represented in the parish.
The Mass was celebrated on the saint's feast day by Father James C. Manship, pastor. Languages used in the Prayer of the Faithful included Quiche from the pre-Spanish Inca period in Peru, and Mam, an ancient Mayan language.
Leading up the feast day, the parish concluded a 9-day novena to the saint on Aug. 21, then held a procession with the statute through the Fair Haven neighborhood.
On Aug. 22, 500 people gathered on the church property for a Day of Faith and Family with food, sharing and games.
"This parish gives me life," said longtime parishioner and trustee Ellen Anderson.
According to Father Manship, 1,200 to 1,300 people fill the pews at Masses on Saturday and Sunday. He said it is a family-centered parish where the average age is 35.
Among parish activities is a Family Life Office and a door-to-door evangelization program.
"He always has something going on," said Dominican Sister Maryann Lawlor, executive director of the Springs Learning Center that serves adult learners on the St. Rose campus."He's a pastor with a missionary heart."
St. Rose of Lima is the first named saint of the Americas.
Photos by Father James C. Manship and Mary Chalupsky.
© The Catholic Transcript