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SCU and Sacred Heart Parish to hold fifth annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 28, 2001- Santa Clara University and Sacred Heart Parish in San Jose collaborate again this year in their fifth annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the performance, the recipient of this year's Juan Diego Scholarship, a four-year tuition scholarship to SCU, will be announced.

The Guadalupe Celebration will take place on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 2- 4 p.m. in the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, followed by a reception in the Sobrato Commons on the SCU campus. The performance will be primarily in Spanish with English commentary throughout.

Out of five applicants, Claudia Avila-Martin, a 17-year-old from Gunderson High School in San Jose was selected as this year's scholarship recipient. Avila-Martin is the oldest in her family. She has four siblings and is the first in her family to attend a university in the U.S. She is first generation Mexican-American. Both of her parents were born in Mexico. Avila-Martin, a eucharistic minister and a tutor at Sacred Heart Parish Education Center, began her freshman year at SCU in September.

The Juan Diego Scholarship is a need-based scholarship funded by SCU. In order to qualify for the scholarship, applicants must either plan or have applied to be a freshman or transfer student at SCU. In addition to completing the application process issued by Sacred Heart Parish, the applicant must meet SCU admission requirements. As part of the criteria, a Sacred Heart Parish committee selects applicants based on their parish involvement and youth leadership.

For applicants that applied but were not selected for the scholarship, Sacred Heart Parish offers a support group to help students complete their college education through other channels.

This year, Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, the first Juan Diego Scholarship recipient and a member of Teatro Corazón will be participating in this year's Guadalupe Celebration. She will be playing the role of the Virgin Mary. Hernandez is the first of her family to attend college. Like Avila-Martin, she works with the Sacred Heart Parish Education Center.

The Juan Diego Scholarship began officially in 1998 in conjunction with Sacred Heart Parish, following a conversation between Father Mateo Sheedy, former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and former SCU provost and religious studies professor, Steve Privett, S.J. in December 1997. Privett is the current president of the University of San Francisco.

Among many Latin Americans and the Roman Catholic community, the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe recalls the appearances in December 1531 of the mother of the Savior on Hill of Tepeyac outside of what is now Mexico City.

The play, the Virgen de Tepeyac to be performed by the Teatro Corazón of Sacred Heart Parish, tells the story of Juan Diego, the man to whom the Lady of Guadalupe appeared. He brought news of the appearance of Our Lady to the local bishop, along with her wish that he build a church for the indigenous people to honor her.

The celebrants will include SCU students, staff, and faculty and parishioners of Sacred Heart.


Further information on the event is available by contacting Ana Maria Pineda at 408-554-6958, Lulu Santana at 408-554-4639, or Laurie Laird at 408-554-5013.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, located in Northern California's Silicon Valley, is a Jesuit university with 7,350 students. It was recognized in 2001 by the American Association of Colleges and Universities for its undergraduate programs, and is known nationally for the quality of its graduate and professional schools. More information on Santa Clara University is available at

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