We used to literally wear our religion on our sleeves--the bright red knit ones of our St. Andrew's Catholic School cardigan sweater. And we wore it even when we weren't in uniform, so proud were we--nyah nyah--that we got to attend parochial school and were one with God. Then one day we saw a truck with a stick-on image of Mary in the back window under "LA VIRGEN" in Old English script and surrounded by fake stained glass roses. We knew we weren't doing enough; the family car could be a rolling billboard of religious devotion. Mom didn't go for it.
Religious symbols are everywhere here, and like our treasured car window, many involve Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico revered north of the Rio Grande as well. In honor of the December 12 feast day of La Virgen de Guadalupe, the Latino Cultural Center, in conjunction with the Consulate General of Mexico, presents Guadalupe, ¨en mi cuerpo como en mi alma¨ (body and soul), an exhibit showing the pop-culture presence of Mary cloaked in blue star-printed robes and surrounded by red roses. The photographs in the exhibit are from the collection of author Marie-Pierre Colle Corcuera, who recruited people, teens to octogenarians, to demonstrate the role La Virgen plays in daily life--from window décor to dashboard statues to T-shirts sold in the market. LCC's Guadalupe also includes Our Lady memorabilia contributed by the Dallas community. The exhibit opens with local matachines performing indigenous dance rituals on the center's plaza, another popular and traditional place where Our Lady will make an appearance.