Nearly everything about Sunday’s 89th annual Virgen de Guadalupe procession and Mass at the San Gabriel Mission was different from the year before: a historic change of format and venue, a scant crowd, masks and social distancing.
The coronavirus changed it all — except for the faith of the attendees and the devotion of organizers.
“This year it was particularly important to continue this beautiful tradition celebrating the Virgen de Guadalupe because she is the mother of healing and hope,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said shortly before leading Sunday’s service. “In these challenging times, she is the one who keeps us together as a family.”
This year’s procession was the first held outside Los Angeles and the first in years to be relocated from Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles, in part to discourage a large crowd from gathering during a pandemic shutdown.