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50 States Church Surch Week 47

  St. Mary's Church 

“The LORD who made you and helps you says:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, O dear Israel, my chosen one. For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.”
~Isaiah 44:2-4

Since the Catholics have a new Pope, and it was St. Patrick's Day, and the Catholics dominate Texas (the Spanish influence), I chose to go Catholic today. But which one? Two Catholic churches sat within two blocks of one another. Should I attend the one with cupolas, or steeples? Steeples for sure, the steeper the better.

A banner hung in the front and announced we have a new Pope- at least I think that's what it said, since it was in Latin. 
The place was filled with around 400 people. The demographics leaned to older, me being in the youngish group, except for a smattering of young families. Seemed like quite a good turnout. Was it typical, or more due to Lent, or St. Patty's Day? Or because of the new Pope? Father Morales announced we have a new Pope and people applauded, quite an outburst for Catholics. 

First, let me say I think there's something going on behind Pope Benedict stepping down. It hasn't happened for 600 years. I'm not a big conspiracy theorist- except George Bush orchestrated 9-11, Adolf Hitler and Elvis piloted two of the planes, and most of the firefighters were Masons- but I digress. The old Pope stepping down just smells funny. 

But everyone's excited about Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope. Although Father Morales did allude to splinter groups complaining that he may have been connected to Communists in Argentina. Probably those who could blow the whistle on that perished in 9-11.  

The church, established in 1824, sported some awesome steeples. And stained glass, statues, and an amazing altar, with huge spires that reminded me of Disney's castle in Florida. Did Disney get his inspiration here? Nonetheless, it was beautiful. 

We once again heard the story of the adulterous woman and Jesus' clever way of dealing with the leaders. They wanted Him to violate the law by insisting they not stone her, but Jesus didn't take the bait. Father Morales speculated that He wrote their names and sins in the sand, and I love to think that's what He did. Today I realized that the scene would have taken quite some time. 

This was a typical Catholic Mass, except three refrains were in Latin. Why? Does God hear Latin better? Didn't the church modernize in the '60s and change the Mass to English so we could understand and participate? Funny but I was an altar boy 52 years ago and recognized the refrains. 

Congratulations to the Catholics for their new leader. 

And what a church to pick- I chose the first Catholic Church established in the Republic of Texas.

And now a blessing:

May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day


Colleen said...

Happy St Patrick's Day! I was told that the Catholic church changed to get more "participation". The insertion of more latin is quite intriguing to me. Yes, I'm still reading your blog. Funny how showing up in the hotel parking lot can lead to a faithful follower! Wishing you safe travels!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Thanks for following Colleen. Yeah, the Latin really threw me. Some old school stuff for sure.