Next Sunday, (April 7) during the 11:30 a.m. Mass, a part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Ashland-Guanajuato Sister Cities will take place here in our parish community. For those who are not familiar with it, Sister Cities International is the world’s largest citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between thousands of cities in the US and foreign cities in 123 countries. It began shortly after the Second World War when the then President Eisenhower proposed the people-to-people program. The intention, among others, was to build relationships with people from other cultures that would help lessen future world conflicts.
The relationship between Ashland and Guanajuato was formally established in 1969 and continues to this day. It is wonderful that faith is a part of that which is shared between the two cities and that worship is a part of the celebration. So next Sunday, we will have guests with us from the City of Guanajuato and some city officials from Ashland. There will be other representatives from the different sectors of the city of Ashland as well. The celebration will start with the Mass at 11:30 a.m. in our church building and then they will have lunch in our parish hall. After the 9:30 a.m. Mass, there will still be coffee and donuts available for those who will come for the 9:30 a.m. Mass so there might be opportunities for you to interact with our guests. We are hosting them in the sense that we are opening our doors for them to have space for a part of the celebration. Being the friendly parish community that I know we are, I am sure that they will feel the friendly welcome that you will all extend to them when you see them in our parish hall and in our church building.
Let us pray that God may continue to bless our cities and that peace among all people from different cultures all over the world may flourish.