The Riverbank City Council presented Father Misael Avila with St. Frances of Rome Church a proclamation recognizing October 2021 as Hispanic Heritage Month. The proclamation was delivered at the City Council meeting held earlier this month to celebrate and distinguish the rich history and contributions made by Hispanic and Latino individuals.
During the presentation at the podium, Mayor Richard D. O’Brien expressed that it “is important not only to the citizens of Riverbank but to all the Hispanic individuals who contributed greatly to our great country.”
He read the proclamation which included that the “Latinos and Hispanics have enriched the Riverbank Community and play a vital role in Riverbank’s economy and workforce with cultural, educational, and political influences. Residents of Latino and Hispanic origin make up 57 percent of the city’s population, making it the largest race or ethnic minoritized group in the City. The Hispanic community has had a profound influence on our City through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service.”
Father Avila joined the Mayor at the podium and thanked the City Council for the recognition to the Hispanic community.
He said, “I think one of the strengths of our city, of our country, of any religious institution is our diversity. One of the things that this pandemic has taught us all is that we are all interconnected, that we need each other, that we can accomplish more when we come together than when we are divided.”
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed nationally from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced this nation.
According to hipsanicheritagemonth.gov, “The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30 day period.”
“The Catholic Church is committed to serving everyone; it is committed to the common good so that way we can give a little bit of hope to people especially during these difficult times,” added Father Avila.