Saturday evening Mass

On January 25, 2013, Father Mathias celebrated morning Mass at our church.  He is such a joy to be around that, later in the day, I emailed him.

We’d like to attend Mass at Holy Cross Church tomorrow, but Steven says HCC has no Saturday evening Mass.

On Sunday, Steven will attend the all-day Knights of Columbus ceremonies at St. Paul’s.  A couple of our friends, Sam and Gary, parishioners at SPC and longtime friends of ours, are getting their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees; so Steven will be an observer.

Of course, this means Mass on Saturday.  Are you celebrating Mass elsewhere, so we can join you?

Father Mathias replied.

We don’t have Saturday evening Mass at Holy Cross; but tomorrow I will be offering five o’clock Mass at Sacred Heart Church near the cathedral.  You are most welcome to attend.

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Sacred Heart Church

I’d visited the chapel twice in 2010, but not the church.  Except for Mass, Sacred Heart is kept locked for security reasons.  I could hardly wait to finally see the church within, so I emailed Father Mathias to let him know we’d be there.

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Lady in blue

Father Mathias was in the confessional when we arrived, but before the start of Mass he invited us to view the treasure inside that small room.

“I don’t know who she is,” Father admitted, reverently motioning to the lady in blue.  “I’ve never seen her before.”

SHC12613-19“She’s an antique version of Our Lady of San Juan,” I said delightedly.  “The basilica in the Rio Grande Valley was built in her honor.  Her likeness is prominently displayed at St. Anthony of Padua in Robstown, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hebbronville, and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville.  How special to see her this way!”

Still, what happened to Our Lady’s crown?

Saturday evening Mass

Father Mathias, who substitutes as needed throughout the diocese but whose home parish is Holy Cross Church, celebrated Mass with Deacon Benny Vargas in Father Motta’s absence.

After Mass, we spoke with both of them and met one of the readers.

Selena extended a heartfelt invitation for us to return for Mass anytime.  “You’re always welcome.  You’re always welcome,” she repeated with gracious inclusivity.

“Thank you so much!  The church is beautiful.  Thank you!” I gushed as she departed.

Then I asked both the sacristan and Deacon Benny if I could take more photos.  “I promise I’ll make it quick.  I know you have family waiting for you at home.”

Frescoes

Steven checked on the frescoes.  Except for those on either side of the altar, which were commissioned in 1950, the fresco on the wall behind the altar as well as those around the church were commissioned between 1942 and 1945.  (The church was founded in 1916.  The date of the present building?)  Steven noted that the artist, Antonio E. Garcia, painted a man holding the Veil of Veronica depicted in the sixth Station of the Cross.

The most recent version of the legend recounts that St. Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary.  When she paused to wipe the blood and sweat (Latin suda) off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth.  The event is commemorated by the sixth station of the Stations of the Cross.  According to some versions, Veronica later traveled to Rome to present the cloth to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.  The veil possesses miraculous properties: being able to quench thirst, cure blindness, and sometimes even raise the dead (Wikipedia, 2013).

“No doubt the benefactor was honored for his financial contribution,” Steven said.  For this reason, he, not Veronica, is shown in the fresco as the one who gifted the holy napkin to the king.

Questions

I joined Steven and Deacon Benny by the ambo and started in with my questions.

“How long does the chapel stay open?” I asked.

“Usually, the chapel is open during the day and closes after evening Mass.”

“I was here twice in 2010,” I said.  “I have pictures of the Christ.”

“I know it used to scare the heck out of me when I was little,” Deacon chuckled.

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Call of service

SHC12613-77“Have you always come here?” I continued.

“I grew up in this neighborhood many, many years ago.”

“How special!”

“Then, just recently, I was ordained in November and got assigned to this parish; so it worked out beautifully.”

“What a blessing!” I enthused.

“Two of our good friends— Francisco Rodriguez and David Castillo— were in that class,” Steven added.

“We’re from the same class, yes.  I think they stayed in their own parishes.  I told them, ‘Don’t throw me in the briar patch!’” Deacon Benny laughingly recalled.  “I was happy.  It was beautiful to have been assigned here.”

“That was when?”

“That same week.  It was an immediate assignment.  We were under the impression, initially, that we’d stay at our home parish for the remainder of the month, but no.  I was a parishioner at the cathedral for over twenty-five years, but here I am where I grew up.”

Gratitude

Knowing that I’d keep the conversation going, Steven interrupted.

“Which is the way out?” he asked.

Since the front doors were already locked, the side door would take us past the chapel onto the sidewalk that led to the end of the block where we’d parked across the street, so we began our farewells.

“Thank you for allowing me to do this,” I said gratefully.  “I waited a long time.  My dream came true!”

“It’s been a blessing for all of us.”

“For many reasons,” I agreed.

“Yes.  With your pictures and the story behind them?  Works wonders.  God bless you both.”

“God bless you, Deacon!  We’ll see each other again.  Congratulations on heeding the call of service to God Almighty!”

“Thank you.  It’s truly a privilege,” Deacon Benny said humbly.

“We may be back!”

“You’re welcome anytime!”

“Thank you!  That’s what Selena told us.  She was so welcoming!”

“It doesn’t have to be on official business!” Deacon Benny teased.

“God bless you,” the sacristan finally chimed in after waiting patiently for us to finish.  “Y’all have a good night.”

A very good night, I thought.

How special to have another wish come true thanks to Father Mathias’s invitation to have us join him for Saturday evening Mass.

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Efficacious novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O my Jesus, you have said, “Truly, I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”  Behold, I knock; I seek and ask for the grace of…

Our Father….  Hail Mary….  Glory be to the Father….  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O my Jesus, you have said, “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”  Behold, in your name I ask the Father for the grace of…

Our Father….  Hail Mary….  Glory be to the Father….  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O my Jesus, you have said, “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away; but my words will not pass away.”  Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…

Our Father….  Hail Mary….  Glory be to the Father….  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you through the sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.

Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add, “St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”

This novena prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all who asked for his prayers.  The faithful are invited to recite it daily so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of St. Pio.

Prayers to Our Lady of San Juan

Devotion…  Most holy and immaculate Virgin of San Juan, be our faithful companion on our life’s journey.  We thank you because many have found [your] shrine a place [to] feel at home with you and our brothers and sisters.  Help us to come closer to your son, Jesus, that we may find in him the way of life, which gives meaning to moments of sorrow and happiness in our earthly pilgrimage.

Novena…  Amada Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos, cuídanos de todo mal, acompáñanos en nuestra vida, y libéranos de todo tipo de pecado.  (Haga su petición.)  Doy gracias a Dios y a la virgen de los lagos por el favor concedido.

Rece durante nueve días el rosario.  Tambien se reza la “Corona de los doce privilegios de la inmaculada madre de Dios.”

Offering…  Our Lady of San Juan, mother of God and mother of the Church, with a sincere heart I offer you this prayer.  In imitation of your union with your divine son, I offer you my daily actions.  Guide me in my work so that my undertakings may be divinely blessed.  Because you are truly a mother to me, I am confident that you will heed these requests, if they serve for the greater glory of God and are spiritually beneficial.

Petición…  María inmaculada y siempre bendita, singular, e incomparable Virgen María, madre de Dios, templo suyo muy agradable, sagrario del Espíritu Santo, puerta de reino de los cielos, por quien después de Dios vive todo el orbe, inclina, madre de misericordia, tus ojos reflujentes a mi, pecador.  Haz, señora, que tus milagros rayos de la luz inclinen y alumbren mi alma; y, si lo que te pido conduce este fin, concédemelo a mayor gloria de Dios y tuya.  Amén.

Request…  We pray that you, most holy and immaculate Virgin of San Juan, guide us throughout our lives.  Please make us mindful of the needs of others and help them through our prayers.  Give us spiritual strength so that we are close to your son, Jesus, and through him may have love and compassion for others.  Grant us peace and happiness.  Amen.

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Links of interest…  Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle…  facebook…  gift shop…  history…  icon…  map (TTTR)…  national shrine…  parishes online…  prayer
(Spanish)…  prayer card (other)…  video (YouTube)…  Heart to heart…  Knights of Columbus…  Our Lady…  about…  and the Holy Spirit…  beloved of the Trinity…  page
…  prayer corner…  Sacred Heart…  about…  beads…  consecration…  devotions…  devotionals…  history…  novena (YouTube)…  parish (CCTX)…  significance…  San Martin de Porres…  about…  biography…  book…  facts…  feast (Nov 3)…  novena…  patron (YouTube)…  prayers…  saint of the broom…  who is…  Santo Niño de Atocha
…  about…  chapel…  history…  miracles…  origin…  prayers…  St. Anthony…  1195-1231…  biography…  Franciscan…  life…  mail deliveries (S.A.G.)…  miracles and traditions…  more prayers…  prayers…  shrine…  still more prayers…  stolen relic…  wonder worker…  St. Joseph…  about…  blog…  celebration…  feast…  name…  prayers…  solemnity…  St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face…  1873-1897…  about…  Carmelite…  celestial roses…  centenary…  chaplet…  history…  inspiration…  invocation…  life…  oblation…  feast: Oct 1st…  little way…  novena…  petitions…  prayer (YouTube)…  relic…  story (YouTube)…  Veronica’s story (veil): chapletdevotion / golden arrow & promises / litany / novena / prayer / reparation

SJC blog pages…  Home…  KC…  Kids…  Library…  MessagesPetitions…  Praise
…  Prayer…  Saints…  SJC…  SJM…  Special…  St. Joseph…  Weblinks:  A-L /
M-Q / R-Z

WP posts…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Connected tangents…  Faces of Mary…  Finding St. Rita…  Franciscan treasures…  Heart of hearts…  Heart’s desire…  Holy Cross Church…  Lady of sorrows…  Lenten reflections…  Our Lady…  A real church…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Right at home…  Sacred Heart…  Sacred Heart Church (CCTX)…  St. Anthony’s, finally…  St. Jude Shrine (CCTX)…  Sweet Jesus

4 Responses

  1. I enjoyed everything you wrote. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you email me and teach me how to create a website? Do we need permission? l have so many questions. May God keep you both safe everywhere you go.

    • Hi, Teresita! I’m thinking that you’re the same person we met at ICC in Taft, TX on February 10th. (If not, please let me know.)

      Thanks so much for your comment and your prayerful thoughts.

      Blogging on WordPress is easy and fun. The best part is that there’s a tutorial booklet for newbies to follow. Just look at the banner (strip) at the bottom of my homepage and click on “Blog at WordPress.com” to sign up for your free account.

      I’ve emailed you already, so we’ll see what happens.

  2. Guten Tag das sind ja wunderschöne Fotos von der Kirche super Fotos ,wünsche dir ein gesegnetes Wochenende und ganz liebe Grüße Klaus

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