SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - La Misa del Presidente at the Saint Barbara Parish invited people all faiths to a 10 a.m. High Mass in the main church inside the Old Mission.
The mass is a long standing component to the Old Spanish Days celebration.
In 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis it was held outside.
The mass this year was inside. Masks were required.
"As we honor our generations and honor the great legacy of God's love and may it manifest here in this place and among these people," said Father Larry Gosselin.
The mass was a time to pause and reflect on this time of community gatherings, celebrations and history that creates Old Spanish Days.
Among those attending, were the Old Spanish Days board and their families, and others who dropped in, while on vacation in what was a timely visit few get to experience.
Father Gosselin said, "they must really walk away with a real taste of the flavor and beauty of this community. "
At the altar he said, "this is the family Bible, this copy of the Gregorian edition of the Holy Bible."
La Presidente Stephanie Petlow brought a family Bible passed down from her grandmother from 1954 for the readings. "I thought for the Misa I would bring it to the Misa and have my daughters read from it and it really just was a blessing to have it here."
Father Gosselin said, "to have that Bible here a very significant thing. This is held as a treasured item in the Petlow family and all families that carry this on ."
For the nine-year old Junior Spirit of Fiesta, this was a special moment in her honored year to remember.
Savanah Hoover said, "I've never gone to one of these. I usually go to Ocean Hills at my church and this was really beautiful and I loved how Father Larry was sharing food (Holy Communion) with everyone. I just loved all the blessings ."
In a year when Fiesta has had several changes, and is scaled back from the traditional schedule due to pandemic impacts, this mass is a vital piece of a celebration that connects its 97 year history.
"Our celebration is an interior celebration and I think there will be some revelation in the future about what this year meant to us," said Father Gosselin.