Dominican Republic: Anniversary of First Mass Celebrated in America

January 6, 1494, in La Isabela, Puerto Plata

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The Catholic Church concludes Saturday, January 5, 2019, the celebrations of the 525th anniversary of the first Mass in the American continent, officiated in Isabela, Puerto Plata, on January 6, 1494.
About 10 thousand people are expected to attend the Eucharistic celebration., reported Fides News Agency. The first Mass in America was officiated on January 6, 1494, in La Isabela, Puerto Plata, by priest Bernardo Boil, who was part of the entourage of Christopher Columbus’ second trip. The January 5 event will be attended, among others, by the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chávez, extraordinary envoy of Pope Francis, together with a delegation composed by Fr. Carlos Manuel Abreu Frías, Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, and Fr. Bernardo Kiwi, parish priest of the diocese of Puerto Plata.
As a note sent to Fides announces, the celebrations will be held in front of the «Temple of the Americas», at ten o’clock on Saturday, January 5, where a structure has been set up to welcome 525 people from each of the 12 dioceses of the country. Mgr. Julio César Corniel Amaro, Bishop of Puerto Plata announces that the Dominican Episcopal Conference will be present at the celebration and reports: «Throughout the year the Church of our country prepared itself with various activities to conclude with today’s Eucharist the celebration of this great event», underlining that the Temple of the Americas is now an important place of worship, which welcomes many believers who arrive on pilgrimage.
«To have the Temple in the territory of this diocese is a special grace: here the first Eucharist was celebrated, with all the implications that it entails, because it not only brought a catechesis of faith for the natives; but also brought a great missionary work for education, health, charitable works and respect for the dignity of life. Christian preachers such as Montesinos denounced the trafficking and ill-treatment carried out by the Spaniards on the natives. We still live the benefits of the proclamation of the Gospel today», concluded Mgr. Corniel Amaro.

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