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St. Gall Church offers Mass in Spanish

by Sheila Gardner

St. Gall Catholic Church is offering a weekly Mass in Spanish at 7 p.m. on Saturday nights.

Father Bill Nadeau, parish administrator, said addition of the Mass grew out of a desire in the parish to make an additional effort to minister to the Hispanic community.

“Just as Hispanics have been coming to our regularly-scheduled English Masses, now they will have the opportunity to celebrate in their own language,” he said. “The St. Gall community overwhelmingly supports the idea.”

He says the Mass entirely in Spanish.

“My Spanish isn’t Castilian or perfect,” he said. “Sometimes, I have to stop and ask people how to say the words. It’s been a great learning experience.”

St. Gall parishioners Mary and Lino Aceves and Gregorio and Odelinda Ceballos have been instrumental in establishing the Mass. Approximately 50 people have been attending. Lino Aceves estimates there are 150 Hispanic members of the parish.

“Father Bill really helped us to see the need for this,” said Mary Aceves. “He asked us to get in touch with members of the Hispanic community. They all said they would love to have a Mass in Spanish at St. Gall. Prior to this, they had been going to Corpus Christi Parish in Carson City.”

Aceves said having the Mass in Spanish at St. Gall helped Hispanic members of the parish feel more at home.

“Father Bill is not embarrassed to ask how to pronounce a word. For him to ask us for help during Mass is beautiful … how beautiful that we are needed,” said Lino Aceves.

The Aceves said the additional Mass is a continuation of outreach to the Hispanic community which began with retired pastor Father John Corona and Sister Clare Francis Murphy, formal pastoral associate.

“When we started to build the new church 15 years ago, Mary and I went from ranch to ranch and invited the people in and they made donations,” Lino Aceves said. “They made pledges when they didn’t have much money and took months and months to pay them off. We all gave what we could afford and they gave what they couldn’t afford. The old families we worked with are very prominent now. Their children have good jobs and their hearts belong to St. Gall’s and now they are thrilled to have Mass in their own language.”

One tradition Nadeau and the Aceves hope to revive is the Mass of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in December. In years past, St. Gall Parish offered Mass in Spanish with traditional music, followed by a festive dinner. Plans are in the works for the Mass on Dec. 12.

Nadeau emphasized that all parishioners are welcome at any Mass. He’s also issued an invitation to members of the community who are bi-lingual in Spanish and English and would be interested in volunteering to help with the Mass or the music.

“We have a lot of work to do but we’ll get it done with the grace of God and our Blessed Mother,” Mary Aceves said.

For information, contact Nadeau at 782-2852 or the Aceves at 265-3500.