Angels keeping watch

Icons of spiritual loved ones and old churches have fascinated me since I was a child; so it’s understandable that the two angels on either side of the Madonna and her Child in the left alcove at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville, TX have tugged at my heartstrings for a lifetime.



devoted angels
love’s guardians
winged, hands clasped, bent on one knee
you’re so still yet so real
what thoughts abound as you keep watch
dare I whisper a request
pray for him
console him
kiss his sweet head
embrace him
bless his soul
he’ll always be God’s gift to me

© Lanoux

Heaven on earth

As often as I could, I visited the church on my off time from work and attended noon Mass.  I was enthralled by both the organ playing and the singing, responsibilities that Charles inherited when his grandmother retired as music director.  Many times while praying the music was so heavenly that I felt myself float at least a foot off the kneeler! 

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I got to know Father Lanese, a spry seventy-something-year-old with twinkling clear blue eyes and a gentle disposition; Father Moran (pictured on the left) who had a humanistic view toward our personal frailties, “the sins of our youth;” and Father Sheehan (beside Acacia-Darling) with whom I had long talks about family and future goals and with whom I continue to correspond.


Even if Segy and I hadn’t been parishioners at Immaculate, I still would’ve had a sense of belonging that I’ve never felt elsewhere.  Maybe this stemmed from having attended daily Mass there as a first grader across the street?  Or maybe because of the combined scent of incense and times long past? 

The streamed chanting certainly made me want to stay a very long time.  I felt very much at peace there, but teaching and my university course load kept me extremely busy.  My soul ached for the church when I couldn’t be there.

Angels keeping watch

ICC81411-44Finally, on April 29, 2003, I had an epiphany: I took my Advantix with me to work, drove to the cathedral after school, and snapped photos to my heart’s content.

From that day on I stopped missing the place.  Now I only have to look at the three framed photos on our refrigerator door to be whisked back not only to the cathedral that afternoon, but also to the many times spent with the angels keeping watch since I was a five-year-old at Immaculate Conception School.

Prayers to St. Gerard

For a mother with child…  O almighty and everlasting God, through the Holy Spirit you prepared the body and soul of the glorious virgin, Mary, to be a worthy dwelling place of your divine son.  Through the name of the Holy Spirit you sanctified St. John the Baptist while still in his mother’s womb.  Hear the prayers of your humble servant who implores you, through the intercession of St. Gerard, to protect me from the dangers of childbearing and to watch over the child with which you blessed me.  May this child be cleansed by the saving water of baptism and, after a Christian life on earth, may we, both mother and child, attain everlasting bliss in heaven.  Amen.

For motherhood…  O good St. Gerard, powerful intercessor before the throne of God, wonder worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your help.  While on earth you always fulfilled God’s designs.  Help me always to do God’s holy will.  Please ask the master of life from whom all parenthood proceeds, to bless me with offspring that I may raise my children to God in this life and heirs to the kingdom of God’s glory in the life to come.  Amen.

Special act of sorrow

Forgive me my sins, O Lord.  Forgive me my sins: the sins of my youth, the sins of my age, the sins of my soul, the sins of my body, my idle sins, my serious voluntary sins, the sins I know, the sins I have concealed for so long that they are now hidden from my memory.

I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial, and for all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour.

I know my sins have wounded your tender heart, O my Savior.  Let me be freed from the bonds of evil through the most bitter passion of my Redeemer.

O my Jesus, forget and forgive what I have been.  Amen.

January 15, 2015

“It is human to fall but angelic to rise again” (Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier).

March 1, 2015

Go to Jesus….  He is on the altar surrounded by angels adoring and praying.  Let them make some room for you, and join them in doing what they do (St. Mary Joseph Rossello).

September 29, 2015

The angels lead the soul to the peaks of the spiritual life.  In revealing the beauty of God, they awaken in the soul a more burning thirst for union with him (Jean Danielou in The Angels and Their Mission).

July 16, 2016

Don’t forget your childhood prayers, learned perhaps from your mother’s lips.  Say them each day with simplicity, as you did then (St. Josemaría Escrivá in The Way).

April 17, 2017

What attracts me to the homeland of heaven is the Lord’s call, the hope of loving him finally as I have so much desired to love him and the thought that I shall be able to make him loved by a multitude of souls who will bless him eternally (St. Therese of Lisieux in Mornings with Saint Therese).


Sacred Heart Church – Nacogdoches, TX

Pdf file…  Immaculate Conception Cathedral (guide, 6 pages)

Links of interest…  Angels: about (more) / book / choirs / companions on the path to salvation / creation (more) / holy angels / servants of God / stories…  Catholic diocese of Brownsville TX…  Four icons of Mary…  Guardian angel: about (more) / badge / chaplet / eight things to know & share about the guardian angel / memorial / prayers (for humanitymore / special)…  Honoring the angels…  Icons: guide to praying with / sacred images…  Immaculate Conception Cathedral (ICC): historical landmarks (#38/39) / national registry / parishes online…  Ohio artist restores religious statues, stirs memories of closed parishes…  Our Lady: beloved of the Trinity / celebrating May / corner / devotion / gate of heaven / litany / meditations / mother (of the church) / page prayers (miracles / more / novena / queen of angels) / untier of knots…  Sacred spaces that nurture us…  Why do we have statues in church

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