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Hello and welcome to NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts. NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts are a natural progression of our weekly column in the Clarion Herald and our three-times-a week blog written by Catholic moms and dads who are raising their children in our faith. The podcasts will share our thoughts, experiences and challenges as Catholic parents every other week at and Thanks for listening. If you have a topic you would like covered, please email

Nov 12, 2019

Episode #4

Host Christine Bordelon speaks with NOLA Catholic Parenting columnists/bloggers Ana Borden and Gaby Smith, and she’s joined by Friar Sergio Serrano, director of the Hispanic Apostolate for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. We discuss the rich traditions in each of the Hispanic cultures – Ana’s ancestry is Cuban; Gaby’s mother is from Chile; and Friar Sergio is from Colombia.

Friar Sergio was on his way to a conference of directors of Hispanic ministries nationwide where they were to discuss the Fifth Encuentro and how the Hispanic culture is infused in the Catholic faith.

2-3:10 in: Friar Sergio discusses the special faith traditions in his native Colombia. From Dec. 16-24 Colombians have a special novena for Christmas with fireworks.  Beautiful decorations can be seen during Holy Week and Christmas and some hold a procession with statues for the patron saint of their country.

3:17: Ana says her parents passed down beautiful Cuban traditions that were held originally in Spain. Because her family fled Cuba only with the clothes on their backs, traditions are held dear. One of the few heirlooms her mother has is a baptismal gown she made for Ana’s father. She and all her siblings have worn it as have her children. Another special baptismal tradition is to wear a pin with a black pearl on the gown and said, “Dios te bendiga” or “God bless you” to ward off evil spirits. To wear the scent of violets – agua de violetas – also is synonymous with Cuba babies at baptism. Her grandmother also passed down a Bible that her father used when he celebrated his first Communion. A guardian angel is another important symbol to Cubans, and Ana’s family recites the Guardian Angel prayer at night.

5:44: Gaby’s Chilean mom married her dad from New Roads, La., but brought her traditions here. She prepares empanadas for birthdays, feast days and holidays. Holy Days of Obligation are also big in Chile. Gaby said people take off work to go to Mass. The rosary is another important Catholic tradition for Chileans.

7:08 Friar Sergio mentioned a few of the celebrations of various Hispanic cultures at the Hispanic Apostolate and in the archdiocese. The Dec. 7 feast of the Immaculate Conception is one that is celebrated here as is the Nicaraguan La Griteri’a which is a tradition where Nicaraguans shout out that they are happy because of the immaculate conception of Mary, Jesus’ mother.