On August 27, our good buddy, Cammie, sent a tantalizing morsel my way.
I had an interesting day yesterday. Mom and I attended Mass at Holy Cross in Corpus Christi for the very first time, since that’s where one of our former priests now resides. What a fabulous experience! The church is small but very old with the most beautiful features, including dark-skinned angels! And the music! The choir was jazzy, upbeat, and very uplifting! Sister Katharine Drexel, who was later sainted, formed that church specifically for people of color! It was awesome, so I recommend that you visit there sometime! The church is located at 1109 North Staples (on the other side of the freeway). Oh, and they sell tacos and menudo in the parish hall after Mass!
I copied Steven on my response to Cammie, so he checked Parishes Online and sent me the link to Holy Cross Church. We agreed on Sunday Mass at ten o’clock.
On our way to the front entrance of the church, we met Father Arul Mathias and Sister Emiliana on the grounds between the parish hall and the side entrance to the church. Both were all smiles, very genuine. They graciously welcomed us as if receiving us into their home. In the few minutes we conversed we learned not only that Father Mathias enjoys listening to Father Xaviour’s homilies on our church blog, but also that he and Sister, like our parish priest, are from India.
St. Katharine Drexel
After Mass Father Mathias went looking for us, so we could talk a little more before he left to celebrate Mass elsewhere at noon. Since I was taking photos, he spoke with Steven until he could get my attention. Father wanted to invite us again to go by the parish hall for breakfast, but he also wanted to tell me about St. Katharine Drexel.
We walked to the back of the church… or the entrance, depending on whether one’s going in or out… as Father pointed to the large painting of St. Katharine on the back wall opposite the confessional.
“St. Katharine Drexel is responsible for having selected the property on which the church is located,” Father Mathias began. “She sent sizable contributions so that the church could be built for the people of color in the area, so this church has been here almost one-hundred years.”
“I heard you say during Mass that St. Katharine Drexel had ‘set foot in this very church,’ and I wanted to know more. Thank you for sharing the rest of the story now! I read about her in the Word among us not too long ago.”
Holy Cross Church celebrated its first Mass in 1914. The altar is beautifully adorned with statues, which is something I look for in a church; but I love that the Holy Infant of Prague is prominently displayed on the back altar. I’d never seen the Holy Infant venerated like that before. Of course, some churches… Our Lady of Victory Church in Prague, Czech Republic and others in Texas: Sacred Heart Church in Brownsville, St. Paul the Apostle Church in Flour Bluff, and Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Corpus Christi… showcase the Infant on a pedestal near the altar or in his own alcove or shrine, but at Holy Cross he’s in full view!
Holy Cross Church
Truly, the church is a veritable gem! Historic, faith-based, unique. I only wish that we’d discovered it years back, so we could’ve enjoyed it sooner.
Child Jesus chaplet…
Divine Infant Jesus, I adore your cross; and I accept all the crosses you will be pleased to send me. Adorable Trinity, I offer you, for the glory of the holy name of God, all the adorations of the sacred heart of the holy Infant Jesus.
Holy cross… Lord Jesus, from the height of your throne of suffering you reveal the depth of your love for us. Lifted up from the world on the cross, you draw everyone to yourself. The cross is both the symbol and the act by which you raised up the world from all its sin and weakness. But you also ask for our cooperation. Help us to die to self so that we may live for you and our fellow human beings. Set us free from the slavery of our passions, our prejudices, and our selfishness. Enable us to endure the pains and trials of this life and really help to change the world in our own small way. Keep before our minds the conviction that in the cross is salvation and life as well as defense against our enemies. Through the cross heavenly grace is given us, our minds are strengthened, and we experience spiritual joy. In the cross is the height of virtue and the perfection of all sanctity. Let us take up our cross and follow you through earthly sorrow into eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Jesus on the cross… O Jesus, how many ages have you been on the cross and yet people pass by in utter disregard of you except to pierce… your sacred heart? How often have I passed you by, heedless of your overwhelming sorrow, your countless wounds, your infinite love? How often have I stood before you not to comfort or console you, but to offend you with my conduct or neglect of you, to scorn your love?
You have stretched out your hands to comfort me, [and] you have loved me [infinitely]. Yet I [take] advantage of that love to sin all the more against you…. My ingratitude has only succeeded in piercing your sacred heart and causing your precious blood to flow forth upon me.
O Jesus, let your blood be not a curse, but a blessing. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on me. Amen.
Most humble San Martin de Porres… Your burning charity embraced not only the needy brethren, but also the very animals of the field. Splendid example of charity, we hail you and invoke you!
From that high throne which you occupy, listen to the supplications of your needy brethren so that, by imitating your virtues, we may live contentedly in that state in which God has placed us. And, carrying our cross with strength and courage, may we follow in the footsteps of our blessed redeemer and his most afflicted mother so that, at last, we may reach the kingdom of heaven through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O blessed Martin, ask our Lord and his blessed mother to give us the grace of true humility that we may overcome any foolish pride and always be content with the gifts that God gives us. Obtain for us the light of the Holy Spirit that we may understand, as you did, that pride is a deceit of the devil and that only by doing the will of God can we be really happy.
O blessed Martin, why are our hearts so cold and lacking in love for the son of God who became a little child for our salvation? Why are we so slow to love the one who loved us so much that he gave his life for our salvation? Ask God and our Lady of Sorrows to make us realize that the only way to happiness is by loving and serving God, heart and soul.
O blessed Martin, may we learn from you how to be courageous and valiant. From your life may we learn to avoid idleness and self-seeking. Obtain for us some of that spirit of penance which you had so that we may be brave in our struggles with temptations. Ask Jesus Crucified to give us the grace to be victorious in our struggle for salvation. Amen.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me! Strengthen me under the pressure of temptation. Strengthen me when principle is at stake. Strengthen me to do your will, my God. Strengthen me in moments of suffering, in times of loneliness, in periods of depression. Strengthen me that I may never swerve from you, dear Christ, nor weaken through human respect through a desire to be popular, through hope of social distinction. Strengthen me to accept my cross and carry it generously to the end. On the battlefield of life, stand by me that I may never prove a traitor in the ranks. Stand by me that I may not be dazzled by the glitter and glow of the enemy camp. Amen.
November 3, 2014
Compassion, my dear brother, is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that, with a little soap, I can easily clean my bed covers; but, even with a torrent of tears, I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create (St. Martin de Porres).
March 3, 2015
“The patient and humble endurance of the cross— whatever nature it may be— is the highest work we have to do” (St. Katharine Drexel).
September 9, 2015
“Man’s salvation and perfection consists of doing the will of God which he must have in view in all things and at every moment of his life” (St. Peter Claver).
March 3, 2016
“If we wish to serve God and love our neighbor well, we must manifest our joy in the service we render to him and them” (St. Katharine Drexel).
Links of interest… Catholic prayers… Come pray the rosary… Holy Cross Church: about / diocese page / online photos / parishes online / website… Holy Infant of Prague… National Black Catholic Congress… Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament…
St. Katharine Drexel: about / biography / blog / book / card / life / miracles / national shrine / novena / patron saint / prayer… St. Martin de Porres: about / biography / book / brother to his brothers / facts / feast (Nov. 3) / novena / patron (YouTube) / prayers / saint of the broom / who is… Stations of the Cross: about / devotions / download / fish eaters / for families / for kids / how to do / meditations / origins / prayers (video/music) / printables / puppet show (YouTube) / scriptural (audio) / significance / way of the cross… the Word among us…
WP posts… Angels all around… Angels keeping watch… Building community… Budding relationships… Christmas year ’round… Connected tangents… Forever grateful… Lady of sorrows… Lenten reflections… Noon visit… Oh, happy day!…
On being Christian… Pink divinity… Promise of hope… A real church… Santo Niño… Saturday evening Mass… Sioux chapel stations… Sweet Jesus… Venerable Margaret