Dominican Republic celebrates 525 anniversary of the first Mass in America

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Photo: Wendy Peña.
By Wendy Peña

Puerto Plata, R. D. With a solemn Eucharist, presided over by Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez Salvador, delegated by Pope Francis as his Envoy Extraordinary, It was held on 525 anniversary of the first Mass in America. Thousands of worshipers from around the country gathered at the Temple Americas, in La Isabela.

The welcoming remarks were given by Bishop Julio Cesar Amaro Corniel, Bishop of Puerto Plata and member of the Dominican Episcopal Conference (CED), who urged participants to join in faith to celebrate the historic event.

Arrival of representatives of dioceses. Photo: Wendy Peña.

Cardinal Rosa Chavez, during the homily stressed that Pope Francis leads parishioners in his heart and transmitted the message "always keep the Catholic faith, boldly proclaim and live with love and good manners ".

Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez. Photo: Wendy Peña.

He added that "it all started here, the Dominican Republic has fed the bread of heaven. This island has the privilege of being the stage where the first Mass was celebrated in Latin ".

The atmosphere of joy was shared by all attendees. For the Mexican religious Sister Beatriz Ramirez, Congregation of the Servants of Jesus of Charity, "We are part of these 525 years of evangelization, the efforts of men and women who have transmitted the faith in America, we must be grateful to witness this historic moment," he claimed.

The event was attended by bishops of the CED; the president of the Republic, Danilo Medina; the Apostolic Nuncio in the country, Archbishop Ghaleb Bader; civil authorities, military, members of the diplomatic corps and delegations from each of the 11 dioceses.

Danilo Medina, President of Dominican Republic. Photo: Wendy Peña.

As part of the celebration, He closed the Year of the Eucharist (2018) and the launch of the Second Phase of the Third National Pastoral Plan was carried out.

National Pastoral Plan. Photo: Wendy Peña.

The evangelizing mission was entrusted to Christopher Columbus in 1493, by the Kings of Spain, but it was not until the second voyage of Admiral, Fray Bernardo Buil this task began with the celebration of the first Eucharist, the 5 of January of 1494.