Since 1995, the Guadalupanos at St. Edward’s Parish in Athens have been organizing and participating in a procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the first few years, the procession simply took place in the parking lot of the historic church on Tyler Street. By 2000, the procession was planned with the Athens Police Department on the main streets of the city to conclude with a Mass at the Cain Center, which is the civic center of Athens.
Beginning with Bishop Carmody, the subsequent bishops of Tyler have presided over the large Mass in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. During the last decade, over a thousand people participate in the procession, “danzas,” Mass and meal on the Saturday closest to December 12th. This year, the procession took place on December 11th.
Because the Cain Center was closed for renovation, the St. Edward’s Education and Ministry (SEEM) Center has been the site for the Mass and fellowship in recent years. Since Tyler Street (Highway 31) and Palestine Street (Highway 19) are blocked off for this procession, the Athens Guadalupe Procession is arguably the largest in the Diocese of Tyler.