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Of Families, Legacy, And The True Spirit Of Christmas

It’s a passion play with roots that go beyond the borders of Texas, far beyond even Mexico. It’s called Los Pastores.

“It actually originated from the Franciscan Friars from Spain.”

That's the play's Assistant Director, Deborah Covarrubias-Barcenez.  

“They brought it to the New World, to Mexico, to teach the indigenous people the nativity story. And from Mexico is was brought to Texas, to here in San Antonio, in 1910 to our parish at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.”

The Spanish language play is staged at the Institute of Texan Cultures on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 14, and then at Mission San Jose at 7PM on Saturday the 20th.

“It’s a story about the shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem, to see the Christ child, and the challenges they faced in doing that.”

They loop the whole family in with a pre-play workshop, putting the kids to work.

“They’ll be making angel crowns, as the angels are a big part of our play. They will be making devil masks, as devils are also a part of our play.”

We’ve heard that several generations of families have been involved in this play.

“Yes, my grandfather has been in this play for over 60 years.”

Covarrubias-Barcenez detailed many more relatives and others who have been involved for decades, keeping up a legacy.

“We hope to continue that tradition of bringing families together to learn about the true meaning of Christmas.”

We've more on Los Pastores here. For more on the Mission San Jose performance, go here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii