Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 Festival of the Americas a Great Success

Every year, we celebrate the beautiful diversity of God's creation in the annual Festival of the Americas. We come together - people from various countries in Latin and North America and share our food, cultures, language, music and dancing. This year, the Festival of the Americas took place on Saturday, September 27.

We had a great time savoring delicious homemade food. We admired and learned about the Aztec religion through traditional dance. We had great DJ's who got us out on the dance floor. We danced to boleros and romantic music.

Many thanks to everyone at Advent and Nuestra Senora for all their hard work in making the Festival of the Americas a great success. In particular, thanks to the dedication and commitment to this year's Co-chairs: Idida Perez, Charles Hayes (who also contributed the photos) and Johanna Castro!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Come join us on Saturday, September 27, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and experience the culture, food and music of the Americas!

There is no cover charge for the music - but remember to bring your dancing shoes.

There will be delicious homemade food from all over South and North America and the Caribbean at very reasonable prices. So come hungry and be ready to take home "doggie bags."

Your support will go towards the ministries of Church of the Advent and Nuestra Senora de las Americas.

We're easy to find - on the northwest corner of Logan Boulevard and Francisco Avenue. For more information, call Johanna Castro, 773.235.1161.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


On Saturday, April 26th, Nuestra Señora de las Americas celebrated its 30th Anniversary with the Sacred Eucharist at 5:00 p.m. and Dinner Dance at 7:00 p.m. This was a joyous occasion for all of us and we were fortunate that many of our friends from Logan Square and other Episcopal Churches joined us in the celebration. The Rev. Pedro Lopez, Rector of Church of the Redeemer and Chair of the Diocese’s Hispanic Affairs Committee served as guest preacher. Numerous members of Nuestra Señora prepared and served the delicious meal that followed the Eucharist. DJs, “Sonido Angel” served up energetic music for dancing.

Our many supporters included Holy Comforter Episcopal Church; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; Illinois Action for Children, Episcopal Church of the Advent, Charles Hayes, Angelo Urbina, DSI, Bishop’s Warden Elena Hernandez, Faith in Place, Infant Welfare Society, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Michael Feinerman, West Side Domestic Abuse Project, Peter Bustamante, Rev. Carolyn Bavaro, Rev. Christopher Griffin, Rev. Elaine Bellis, Rev. Linda English and Bob Cook, Rev. Lynn Ramshaw, Samuel Briones, St. Andrew's/Church of the Pentecost, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, St. Martin's Episcopal Church, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, St. Peter's and the Rev. Gordon Stanley, State Representative Iris Martinez, State Representative. Maria Berrios, Episcopal Charities, Deborah McCoy, Church Publishing Club, Dominican Community of St. Pius V, Episcopal Church Women, Eleanor Waltemede, West Town Leadership Project, Isidro Padilla, Jubilee Ministries, John and Pat Casey, Audra Abt and Jen Feather, Anthony, Alex, Christopher and Elizabeth Didato and the Rev. Sandra Castillo, Vicar.

Before our congregation was established, the Episcopal Church of the Advent began welcoming Hispanic members in about 1967. The Rector, the Rev. Robert Orpen, learned Spanish so that he could preside at the Eucharist in Spanish. When St. Luke’s Episcopal Church closed, its Spanish-speaking members transferred to Advent. In 1978, the Diocese of Chicago established La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Americas, the oldest Hispanic congregation in the Diocese. The congregation’s first vicar was the Rev. Rex Bateman and it rented space at Advent. After Rev. Bateman’s death, he was succeeded by the Rev. John Graham. The Rev. Sandra Castillo now pastors the congregation. Nuestra Señora de las Americas is committed to social justice with ministries that include a weekly lunch program which includes Church of the Advent and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. In conjunction with Advent, we operate the Orpen After School Study Center and a Summer Youth Program for neighborhood children and teens. During the Amnesty Program of the 1980s, the congregation helped community members fill out their applications, taught English as a Second Language and helped applicants prepare for their citizenship tests. In 2007, we hosted two successful Citizenship Workshops in partnership with Advent and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. We are also active with LSNA in advocating for immigration reform, supportive housing and balanced development.

Following are some of Isidro Padilla’s photos from Nuestra Senora’s 30th Anniversary Celebration.