The Bishop of Guadix, Spain, Francisco Jesús Orozco, has declared the parish of Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace) in the district of Las Cuevas (The Caves) a diocesan shrine, renaming it “The Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and St Pedro Poveda”. He also blessed the new diocesan chapel dedicated to St. Pedro Poveda.
“St Pedro Poveda, who did so much for the people of this area, will remain linked forever to the Caves district through this place of worship.” These were the words of the Bishop of Guadix in his homily at the Eucharist in Guadix on the evening of 30 October, marking the dedication of the parish church of Our Lady of Grace as a shrine to be called the “The Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and St Pedro Poveda”. Bishop Francisco Jesús Orozco also recalled all those who “have worked for evangelisation in the Caves and the Diocese and who poured out their lives in service for Christ and the Gospel.”
At the beginning of Mass, the Vicar-General of the Diocese, José Francisco Serrano, read the Decree canonically declaring the church a Shrine. The importance of working for evangelisation, as urged by Pope Francis and of maintaining with great care the celebration of the Sacraments and promotion of Christian life are emphasised in the Decree.
The Association was represented at the ceremony by the Vice-president, Carmen Lizárraga and two members of the Council, Goretti Gonsalves and María Dolores Peralta. Speaking at the time of thanksgiving, Carmen Lizárraga said, “This whole Caves District speaks to us of Pedro Poveda. The story began here, with his dedicated life, this friend who knew how to approach each person’s humanity at any time. Today the Teresian Association continues here, following his path in his commitment to faith, education and culture. She also expressed thanks for the beautiful celebration and the mandate received together with the newly confirmed young people. “We all feel sent forth to continue building the kingdom.”
The Association in Spain was represented by Carmen Azaustre, sector council member, who represented the Sector Director and Mati Carrero, Co-Ordinator of the TA in eastern Andalucía. Many members from Guadix and other surrounding areas also came to join the parishioners in the celebration.
Among the parishioners attending the celebration were the members of the Hermandad (Sodality) of Our Lady of Graces. A representative of the Sodality also expressed their thanks for the new dedication. On the following day they took the image of Our Lady of Grace in procession through the Caves district, stopping wherever there was a person who was ill.
At the end of Mass, the bishop unveiled a plaque inscribed with the date to commemorate the dedication of the parish church as a shrine.
The Diocesan Chapel
After the moving event of the 30th of November, the renewed chapel in the episcopal centre in Guadix was dedicated to St Pedro Poveda on the 1st of November. The original chapel had been used as a function room but has now been restored and returned to its original purpose.
Carmen Lizárraga and the members of the council attended the blessing of the chapel by Bishop Francisco Jesús Orozco who highlighted Pedro Poveda’s link to this place, where he was ordained to the priesthood and also martyred bishop Blessed Manuel Medina Olmos, who celebrated his last Mass at the same altar.
The new chapel is open at the same times as the bishopric as a space for prayer and celebrations. The presence of St Pedro Poveda is reflected in the text “Lord, may I always be a priest, in thought, word and deed” printed on the wall with his portrait and another text projected on the rear wall: “If we must keep vigil, then let us keep vigil.”
The site also includes the projection of a video about St. Pedro Poveda and encourages to pray the prayer he wrote in his diary in 1933: “Lord, that I may think what you want me to think; that I may want what you want me to want; that I may speak as you want me to speak; that I may act as you want me to act. This is my only ambition.”
TA Translators Team.
Images: Guadalupe Pérez and Consuelo Peralta, Guadix.