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On April 24, which was Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Joseph Parish in Upland held a large celebration for the Feast Day, and notably, the parish community formally welcomed a large, beautiful statue of Jesus which had been specially ordered and hand carved by artisans in Vietnam.

The statue arrived at the parish in early January after excitedly awaiting its delivery since mid-2021, and the St. Joseph parish community had waited for this very special occasion to have it blessed.

In addition to the blessing of the statue, the parish community celebrated the feast with food, music, crafts for the children, and a Divine Mercy photo booth. The events of the day were put together by their Divine Mercy ministry, prayer group Ovejas de Cristo, Jovenes para Cristo, Spanish lectors and the Knights of Columbus.

At 3 p.m., they prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet together as a community, with each decade being said in a different language (English, Spanish, Tongan, Vietnamese and Tagalog) to include many of the different cultures within the community.

After the Divine Mercy chaplet was prayed, those in attendance were invited to write down their prayer intentions on slips of water-soluble paper and were then put into a vase of water where they dissolved and were poured into the fountain where the Jesus statue stands; a fountain of Mercy.

The celebration was part of a series of special events the parish is doing to celebrate their centennial year. The next event will be a Centennial Conference on June 24-25. The conference will include speakers, prayer and Mass, and both Bishop Alberto Rojas and Bishop Emeritus Gerald R. Barnes will be in attendance.

To register for the conference, visit stjoseph.ticketbud.com/st-josephs-centennial-conference. For more information on the centennial celebrations throughout the year, visit stjosephsupland.org/centennial.html.