Procession joins English and Hispanic communities


GAFFNEY — Parishioners at Sacred Heart took their faith beyond the walls of the church and into the streets on Mother’s Day to honor the mother of the Lord.

In the May procession 250 believers paraded around the block, stopping frequently to pray the glorious mysteries of the rosary. People came out of their houses, stood in their yards, and watched the faith of Sacred Heart’s parishioners.

They were led in prayer by Joanne Babin, director of religious education. And she led prayers in both English and Spanish as the Hispanic community of the parish joined in the march.

One group walked behind the crowned statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Another group marched behind a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Then they mixed into one community in Christ. Hail Marys came in both English and Spanish, and the reverence with which the prayers were said overcame any language barriers.

“We are one Church,” said Father Gary Linsky, Sacred Heart pastor. “Everyone is welcome here.”

The march and the blending of cultures touched Crystal McCleod, a Sacred Heart parishioner. “It was wonderful,” she said. “I loved walking around the church and saying the rosary. And I liked the fact that we had Mary of Guadalupe also. It was nice.”

Parishioner Connie Battleson called the march “beautiful.”

“I loved the English and Spanish together,” she said. “It was very Catholic to do that. It gave a lot of depth and meaning to the procession.”

After the rosary, Father Linsky led everyone back into the church and invited the whole community to join in praying the Litany of Our Lady of Loretto.

“What a glorious day,” Babin said.