On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the community of Seminary of the Southwest gathered on the Motte for a Eucharist designed by students and faculty to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx heritage. The large crowd remained afterwards for a festive meal, and then dancing with music provide by longtime Southwest musical partner, Francisco Chavez and family.
The service and celebration was the first event planned under the direction of Southwest’s new Director of Latinx Studies, the Rev. Nancy Frausto. (read: The Rev. Nancy Frausto named Director of Latinx Studies) Frausto served as presider for the service, and the Rev. Anthony Guillen (class of ’90), Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries for The Episcopal Church, preached. Guillen’s insightful sermon helped the current community understand Southwest’s long-standing efforts and programs designed to grow the Episcopal Church in Latinx communities.
“The Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month Eucharist was an amazing testimony of the commitment the seminary has for Latinx ministry and Latinx people,” said Frausto. “The joy and energy from everyone who participated made this celebration a true fiesta. The music, decorations, food, fellowship, dancing and prayers allowed for a powerful and holy experience that reminded us that despite the different languages, skin color, cultures, traditions and dancing ability we are all one body united in Gods love.”
“This was a joyous occasion that lifted up for the Southwest community the centrality of the Latinx Studies Program for the mission of this school,” said the Rev. Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Dean of Community Life and Duncalf-Villavaso Professor of Church History. “Anthony Gullen’s sermon reminded us of the vital history of the program and the great promise that Nancy Frausto’s presence represents.”
Frausto also made a point to acknowledge the commitment to hospitality that was displayed at the event. “I would be remiss not to give a special shout out to Ashley Croshaw, the hospitality team and all others who worked behind the scenes to make this event possible,” she said. “As the new Director of the Latinx Studies Program I am delighted to be working with such an extraordinary team!”