Las Posadas

In a very tiny way, I can relate to the journey of Joseph and Mary as they left Nazareth to travel to Bethlehem: it just so happens that I’m moving from one workspace to another! Although the distance of my journey will only be about 50 feet, it is a small reminder that we are all pilgrims on a much grander journey! I was thinking that I should add a dramatic flare to my move and give it a “Las Posadas” feel, wheeling my cart of office supplies, books, and possessions past my fellow employees’ office spaces, requesting lodging, and being refused until I reach my new space! 🙂

Seriously, though, the tradition of Las Posadas is a wonderful catechetical opportunity. (Interestingly enough, I’m finding in my limited research on the topic that Las Posadas has Jesuit roots! I’m looking into that further) If you’re not familiar with Las Posadas, in short, it is a novena – a nine-day celebration beginning on December 16 leading up to Christmas. Families act out the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, walking through the neighborhood and knocking on doors, asking (in song) for lodging. At the last place, they are welcomed in and there they pray the Rosary, sing songs, and celebrate with a piñata and traditional foods.

Anyway, I’m wondering if anyone has incorporated Las Posadas into their catechetical program during Advent. Please share your experience of Las Posadas here!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. We had a personal Las Posadas like experience when my son was born. We got the call from the delivery room that he was born on December 15th but there was a snow storm raging in Buffalo so we waited until the next day to go see him. When we got there we could watch him thru the window but not touch him because he wasn’t yet legally ours. On December 17th we once again trecked down to Buffalo 9 (2 hours from our house) We’d been told to expect to be able to bring him home around 1 p.m. check out time. When we got there his birth mom had checked herself out and the nursery had thinned out to the nurses bent the rules and let us spend some time holding him, feeding him and changing him under their watchful eyes. It was a very long wait until 7 that night when the papers finally came and made it official that we could take him home. We then had to stop at my inlaws and introduce their newest grandchild before finally dragging ourselves home for a our first late night feedings. We’ve been on a wonderful journey with our favorite young man ever since. Every day I thank God for both the journey that brought him to us and the Blessing that he is in our lives.
    I often think of Mary and Joseph and the unknowing they went thru. It is really the journey of every parent and totally worth the waiting.

  2. Hi, Joe
    When I was a DRE a number of years ago we did this:
    On the last day of class before Christmas break, halfway through class, we had the 6th graders dress up two people as Mary and Joseph, then, accompanied by the rest of the class, who sang along with a boom-box playing a Posadas song, they went around to every classroom, asking if there was room to stay. Each catechist had been instructed to have their class refuse “lodging” and then join the procession. They made their way through the entire building, growing the procession in size, until all the students ended up in the school cafeteria, where we had the traditional hot cocoa and cinnamon twists, accompanied by Christmas music. Then, parents arrived for pick-up and they went off for their Christmas break.

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