Steven and I attended ten o’clock Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, TX.
On December 4, 2012, Grand Knight of Council 15512, Herman Rodriguez, extended an invitation to all fourth-degree Knights of Columbus within the diocese to assist at the presentation and veneration of the first-class relic of Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (Joselito) on the eighty-fifth anniversary of his death, February 10, 2013.
Although Steven and I had heard about the persecution of priests in Mexico from a Franciscan at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville, TX, we’d never heard of Joselito until we viewed For Greater Glory (2012) last year.
Sympathetic to Joselito’s story and very much interested in his relic, Steven responded right away.
My wife and I will be delighted to attend the ceremony, and I’ll be falling out in full regalia with you. It will be an honor.
We’d awaited our first visit to Taft with great anticipation. What excitement to finally see the church, show support for the parish, and enjoy the festivities. Parishioners were welcoming, everyone was cordial, and Father Lopez was everywhere all at once. Mass was standing room only, and most in attendance took part in the solemn procession.
I’d been anxious about barking dogs running out onto the streets as we circled the block, but the neighborhood was so peaceful that we were able to focus on the rosary before returning to church for the icing on the cake.
Spending quality time one-on-one with Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río through his precious relic was very special, so no one rushed. Some sat as others waited their turn in line. Some observed while others quietly conversed. Father Ed Roche sang to a child before reminiscing with us about Father Mike Jordan, a fellow SOLT, in heaven since July 2012. Yet the smiles on the two Dominicans, Sisters Patricia and Elena whom we met before leaving church, reflected our collective joy most of all.
As Steven and I talked about the celebration on our drive home, he chuckled. “I’m in awe of the Knights.
I don’t know how they got the neighbors to keep their pets quiet and out of sight, but they pulled it off! Simply amazing.”
Honoring Joselito, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Immaculate Conception Church community, was a momentous occasion that we were blessed to have experienced.
Devotion… I do not wish to fight, live, or die except for you, my Lord, and for your holy Church. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, be at my side in the agony of this poor sinner. Grant that my last shout on earth and my first canticle in heaven be ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Petition… Blessed José Luis, watch over, defend and protect all of the children whose innocence is threatened from all sides by evil, direct their hearts to all that is good and holy, and instill in their hearts a living faith and confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, our King and Lord. Amen.
To Mary, help of Christians… Most holy and immaculate Virgin, help of Christians, mother of the Church, we place ourselves under your motherly protection. We promise to be faithful to our Christian vocation and to work for the greater glory of God and the salvation of our souls and those entrusted to us.
You were St. John Bosco’s teacher. Show us how to imitate his virtues, especially his union with God; his chastity, humility, and poverty; his love for work and temperance; his goodness and total giving of self to others; and his loyalty to the Holy Father and the Church.
Grant, O Mary, help of Christians, the graces which we need (mention here). May we serve God with fidelity and generosity until death. Help us and our dear ones to attain the boundless joy of being forever with our Father in heaven. Amen.
To St. John Bosco… In need of special help I appeal with confidence to you, O St. John Bosco, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, particularly (state here).
You had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, help of Christians, and always had compassion for those who were in suffering. Please obtain from Jesus and his heavenly mother the grace I now request, as well as a sincere resignation to the will of God.
Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory be….
To St. Thérèse… O little Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during your short life became a mirror of angelic purity, love of God, and wholehearted abandonment to his will, plead my case before his holy throne now that you possess the Lord you so deeply loved.
Make my troubles your own. You promised to spend your heaven doing good on earth. Intercede for me in my hour of need (mention grace desired), if it is for the greater glory of God and the good of my soul.
Dear Little Flower, obtain for me the blessing that I may have strength in the trials of life and be defended at the hour of my death. Lead me to a happy eternity. Amen.
May 21, 2014
I am innocent, and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico (St. Christopher Magallanes).
June 3, 2014
Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is in danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world. Amen.
June 28, 2014
For the Church the martyrs have always been a seed of life…. By their example they have shown us and made smooth for us, so to speak, the path to the future (St. John Paul II).
June 30, 2014
Around these men with their holy lives, there are gathered a great throng of the elect who, though victims of jealousy, gave us the finest example of endurance in the midst of many indignities and tortures…. But they courageously finished the course of faith and despite their bodily weakness won a noble prize (Pope St. Clement I about the first martyrs).
August 31, 2014
Time is but a period. It passes like the lightning flash. Suffering passes with time; suffering, then, is very short (Venerable Bartholomew of Martyrs).
September 2, 2014
“Remember that knowledge without morals is the soul’s ruination” (St. John Bosco).
September 20, 2014
There is no place for selfishness— and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice (Pope St. John Paul II).
Links of interest… Biographies of new Blesseds (2005)… Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río: about / beatification / biography / blessed / facebook / feast / martyr / martyrdom / memorial / patron (ECyD) / pray for / story… Catholic Digest… Cristero War (La Cristiada)… Exposition of relics… For Greater Glory (background)… Immaculate Conception Church: article / diocese page / parishes online… Mexican government versus the Catholic Church… Mexico’s forgotten pain… Of saints & sinners in a fevered Mexico… Persecution of Christians in Mexico… Sacred relics… Treasures of the Church: about relics / expositions / healing / home / photo gallery / prayer requests / who we are… What Mexico teaches us… the Word among us…
Filed under: Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río, call of service, churches, holy relics, prayer, spiritual gifts Tagged: | building community, God's master plan, Immaculate Conception Church-Taft TX, overcoming adversity