¿La Ultima Misa? - The Last Mass?
A Protest of the Closing of La Milagrosa Philadelphia’s Oldest Latino Church
April 21, 2013, Philadelphia PA: La Milagrosa, Philadelphia’s oldest church serving the regions Latino community is about to close its doors forever and its supporters are holding for a miracle “¿La Ultima Misa? – The mass will be held Sunday, April 21 , 2013 at 11:30 AM outside the church at 1903 Spring Garden Street (19130) to rally the community to protest the closure.
For over 100 years La Milagrosa has served as a beacon of hope for Latinos immigrating to the Philadelphia region. The church was founded by Mother Sol Quintana who was of Mexican and Spanish descent and arrived in Philadelphia to support the early growing Spanish community. She originally used her home as a place to prepare Latino children for Holy Communion. As the Latino population grew, Mother Quintana in partnership with Mother Drexel, 150 Latinos of African descent and many other Latino groups founded La Milagrosa. The official Archdiocese records establish La Milagrosa as the location where the first Spanish mass was held in the Philadelphia Region.
Now, over 100 years later La Milagrosa is being sold for one million dollars. Urgent pleas by its faithful congregation and the community were not enough to persuade the Philadelphia Archdiocese to stop the sale. As stated by a representative of the Archdiocese, “Faith does not pay the bills.” Community leaders believe this will be a tremendous loss to the culture and history of Latinos in Philadelphia and the city as a whole especially at a time when the world has seen the appointment of its first Latino Pope – Pope Francis. “¿La Ultima Misa? – The Last Mass?” is an effort to bring attention to the travesty of selling the spiritual heart of the Latino Community. We invite you to attend the Last Mass to share in the loss of a Philadelphia Landmark. We invite every religious group, every community group to come and pray with us.