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MACEDONIA -- As part of the church's 50th anniversary year celebration, the faithful of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish paid homage to its namesake with a tribute in the form of a silver rose.
The silver rose represents the bunch of white Spanish roses St. Juan Diego, an Aztec indian, was given by the Blessed Virgin nearly 500 years ago, when she appeared for the first time in the New World in 1531. Because the roses were not native to the Americas, their appearance, and subsequent manifestations, were deemed miracles performed by Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Beginning in 1960, the Knights of Columbus started the Running of the Rose tribute to honor the Blessed Virgin under her title as Patroness of the Americas. Every year in March, six silver roses travel across North America, concluding their journey on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- Dec. 12 -- in Monterrey, Mexico.
The church hosted one of the roses in a "Silver Rose Ceremony" honoring the Blessed Virgin on May 22 after the 6:30 p.m. Mass.
"This is the first time the church has ever held the ceremony," said John Leben, Past Faithful Navigator of Knights of Columbus Assembly 1765. He added the Assembly was one of many to request the chance to host the silver rose during the annual "Running of the Rose," as the pilgrimage is called.
"It was very special to us, especially during this anniversary year," he added. "It took a lot to get it here, because there is quite a demand for it. All the churches in the Ohio area were vying for it. It was a blessing to us."
The ceremony had many components. Following opening prayers and an introduction to Lady Guadalupe, the congregation conducted a Rosary Service and the Glorious Mysteries, recognizing Mary's ascension into Heaven and ultimate crowning as queen of Heaven and Earth. Afterward, there was time for meditation and any requested prayers, as well as the Ministry's Act of Consecration.
Finally, the Rev. Kevin Shemuga said the final blessing and ended the ceremony with an opportunity to stand in front of the Silver Rose and pray, with the opportunity to request any assistance the Blessed Virgin can provide, Leben said.
Leben said planning to bring the rose to Macedonia began about a year ago, when he realized it would be the parish's 50th anniversary.
"It's our 50th anniversary, I must have it," he said, adding he contacted The Rev. Ed Janoch, Chaplain of the Ohio State Council Knights of Columbus. Janoch is a vicar at St. Mary's Parish in Chardon and previously served at St. Barnabas Parish in Northfield Center.
"They squeezed us in," he said, explaining a fellow Knight brought the rose to him from Cincinatti on May 21 and Janoch took it back to his home parish immediately after the ceremony at Our Lady of Guadalupe.
"We only had it for a few hours," Leben said.
The May 22 ceremony was just one of many events parisioners have organized to mark the parish's golden anniversary.
A year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Macedonia kicked off last October with a special Saturday Mass, followed by a reception.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish was founded by the Rev. Lloyd Boymer, who was an associate pastor at St. Barnabas Parish. After determining St. Barnabas Parish had 503 Catholic families who lived in Macedonia, the Rev. Boymer petitioned the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, showing the growing number of Catholic families in Macedonia meant a new parish was needed.
He also asked that it be placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The parish today has a worship space with seating for nearly 800 people, and room for up to 1,000 with added pews.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church is at 9080 Shepard Road in Macedonia. To contact the parish office call 330-468-2194 or visit www.olg.cc.
Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433