Romilia works at Centro Guadalupe, a center with a chapel, catechism classes, ESL [English as a Second Language] classes, and daycare!
The Multicultural Center is made up of three parts. The St. Martin House is downstairs, Centro Guadalupe is through the window-pained wooden double doors straight forward, and the Multicultural Center is the rest.
As you walk through the doors, a blinding light hits you. Tilt your head left, on the wall is Our Lady, Guadalupe.
In Centro Guadalupe, there is a copy of the original painting of our Lady of Guadalupe. Romilia, a Catholic, told us the story.
Juan Diego, an Aztec man, was wandering in the hills when he heard beautiful music. Since it was December, he wondered why the birds had stayed. He went into the hills to look.
But he found the singing was not from birds, but from a beautiful woman with a black belt around her waist.
Juan Diego stood in awe of the woman, who told him she was Mary, mother of Jesus. She told him to go tell the nearest priest to build a church on the hill where she stood.
Juan Diego went, but when he told the priest what had happened, the priest said he would not build anything until Juan Diego gave him proof.
Juan Diego went back and told the Lady what had happened. She told him to try again, so he did. The same thing happened. He returned, and finally the Lady told him to go to the place where the cacti grow and gather all the roses there. Juan Diego didn’t know what to make out of this, so he went to where the cacti grow and found hundreds of beautiful, blooming roses! Orange, pink, red, yellow—all different kinds! He gathered them up and brought them to the Lady. She told him to bring them to the priest and he went.
When the priest saw the roses he immediately believed Juan Diego and sent his men out to make a church on the hill.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is known as the patron saint of unborn babies, since she wore a black belt, and black belts were what Aztec women wore when they were expecting a baby.
We went down to a big cafeteria with many tables and chairs. An African-American woman named Zandra sat down at the same table as me. Zandra had five children and was also going to have another baby soon. Zandra was very religious and seemed to know why she was religious, unlike some people. Zandra also knew a lot about race and racism, and what she said was very interesting.