Our Lady’s church


Last Saturday we visited one of my most favorite churches of all time.  And, oh, what a wonderful reunion after a six-year absence.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Known simply as Guadalupe, the church has been part of my life since birth and to this day appears pretty much as it always has despite changes to the altar since Vatican II, the installation of the outer windows to protect the original stained-glass treasures from breakage, the musicians occupying the front left alcove area instead of the choir loft, and remodeling and painting over the years.

Built in Brownsville, TX in 1927, the church has meticulously maintained its walnut-stained, straight-backed wooden pews; its impeccably polished floors; its stunning stained-glass windows inscribed long before most of us were born; and its hardy yet graceful style.



Sense of home

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s welcoming spirit can be attributed not only to the parishioners whose families have lived in the neighboring area for generations and to Father Acosta, who diligently instructs and nurtures his flock, but also to those of us whose cherished recollections keep this sacred space very much alive.

Guadalupe’s sense of home is so vibrant that, having experienced her, one’s heart longs to be with her regardless of time and distance apart.

To know her is to love her!

What a privilege to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe Church every chance we have!














Husbands and wives…  Lord, inspire those men and women who bear the titles husband and wife.  Help them to look to you… and to one another to rediscover the fullness and mystery they once felt in their union.  Let them be honest enough to ask, “Where have we been together, and where are we going?”  Let them be brave enough to question, “How have we failed?”  Let each be foolhardy enough to say, “For me, we come first.”  Help them to reexamine their commitment [together] in the light of your love— willingly, openly, compassionately.

Hail Mary….

Hail, O Virgin of Guadalupe.  We place under your powerful patronage the purity and integrity of the holy faith in Mexico and in all the American continent for we are certain that, [as surely as] you are recognized as Queen and Mother, [matrimonies] will be saved.  Amen.

Opening to Our Lady’s memorial…  God of power and mercy, you blessed the Americas at Tepeyac with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.

May her prayers help all men and women to accept each other as brothers and sisters.  Through your justice present in our hearts may your peace reign in the world.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Petition…  Our Lady of Guadalupe, who blessed Mexico and all the Americas by your appearance to Juan Diego, intercede for the holy Church, protect the pope, and help everyone who invokes you in their necessities.

OLG51912-193O mystical rose, hear our prayers and our petitions, especially the one we are praying for at this moment.  (Mention your request.)

Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy son the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance.  Amen.

November 29, 2014

Jesus, help me to believe in your promises so that I can taste heaven every day.  Lord, I can’t wait to be with you forever! (the Word among us, November 2014, p. 49).

December 31, 2014

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world” (C. S. Lewis).

March 13, 2014

“I find heaven in the midst of saucepans and brooms” (St. Stanislaus Kostka).

June 7, 2015

Our Lord does not come down from heaven every day to lie in a golden ciborium.  He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to him— the heaven of our souls created in his image, the living temples of the adorable Trinity (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

December 18, 2015

FrA121815a        FrA121815b

December 25, 2015

The night is bright.  God has prepared a feast that did not exist in heaven: he became man (Karl Rahner).


Pdf file…  Father Acosta’s homily / prayer

Links of interest…  How Jesus makes heaven present to us today…  Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: aboutbook / consecrating the hours / hymns, psalms, & readingsintroduction / prayers (more)…  Hints of heaven…  Missionaries of Jesus…  Our Lady of Guadalupe: abbey / about / & Advent / arch of triumph / churches: Austin (video) – Brownsville (about – facebook)/ December 12th / mother of the Americas / patroness of the Americas / prayers / shrine / story / unqualified, uncomplicated consolation / videos / warrior (Bishop Barron)…  St. Juan Diego Guild for children…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Faces of Mary…  Faith and prayer…  Familiar yet new…  Franciscan treasures…  God’s lovely gifts…  Guadalupe Church…  Heart of hearts…  Lourdes novenas…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  A real church…  Repeated prayers…  San Juan Diego

8 Responses

  1. Beautiful information. I was baptized at this church in 1965.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is very special indeed. What a blessing to have been baptized there!

      • It sure is. We plan on having a celebratory Mass for my grandfather, Charles Dorsett, who passed on in 1974. The Mass is planned for September 28th.

      • Wow. Your thoughtfulness toward your grandfather certainly touches my heart… and takes me back to my dad’s funeral Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe, July 22,1954, that I just recently learned about.

  2. Wonderful church full of lovely art.

  3. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a truly extraordinary experience. It has a distinct character that announces you are in the Rio Grande Valley; but it is subtle and understated, not gaudy or garish. The faithful are vocal, energized, devout. And they are kind, inclusive, and happily present their children to God. There are smiles, handshakes, and hugs for friends and visitors alike.

    Father Acosta is a jewel. During Mass I felt the congregation; I was not alone. But Father Acosta looked ME straight in the eye. He directed his words at ME, making sure I got the message. His homily seemed to contain everything I had spoken to him about in confession. Yet he was merciful and patient with me as a penitent sinner. He managed to drain me of pride, leaving only humility and thankfulness for God’s mercy. During Mass his kindness extended to all, even to the point of repeating his key points in Spanish so that those who did not speak English were included in his elaboration of the Word of God. He ended with an extemporaneous prayer that made me want to laugh with joy, despite the tears in my eyes. (You can read the homily and the prayer by opening the pdf files.)

    If you get to Brownsville, do not miss the opportunity to experience Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Immerse yourself in it. And sing praises to our Lord.

    • What a profound experience!

      I’m glad to know that you were as taken with Father Acosta and the whole OLG experience as I have been in my lifetime.

      The church has come to mean a whole lot more to me since Saturday’s visit.

      Working on this post I realized that Mom and Dad had to have attended Mass at OLG when I was a baby, since they rented from Tia Quina just a couple of blocks away on Shary Avenue.

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