At their recent Provincial Chapter, the friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation honored its newest Honorary Franciscans.

As a tribute to their dedication to the friars and their ministries, we wanted to recognize our newest Honorary Members of the Franciscan Order. Congratulations to the Tiguas, Alfonso & Diana Baeza, Raul & Angelina Donohoe, Santos Gloria Espinoza, and Carmen Lopez.

Becoming an Honorary Member bestows all the spiritual benefits of the First Order, including the Masses and prayers offered for the Friars.

Tiguas

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is the historical and legal name of the American Indian tribe commonly known in the El Paso area as the “Tiguas” or “Tigua Indians”.  They are a U.S. federally recognized Native American tribe and sovereign nation. Ysleta del Sur was established in 1682 after the Pueblo Revolt, which forced them to walk south for over 400 miles from Isleta, New Mexico.

The Tiguas settled and built the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and soon after built the canal system that sustained a thriving agricultural-based community.  The Tribe’s early economic and farming efforts helped pave the way for the development of the region.

The mission church of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo was built by the Tiguas in 1682.  At the time it was built, the church was named “Mission Sacramento de los Tiguas de Ysleta”, with the Santisimo Sacramentos (Blessed Sacrament) and San Antonio de Padua the original patron saint of the first church in Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico, remained their patron.

St. Anthony’s feast day, June 13th, is still their principle religious celebration.  On this day many Christians and Indian religious ceremonies including a solemn Mass, processions, sacred dance, chants, and other important functions take place with tribe members and descendants from all over the nation attending and participating.  The dance season begins with the Feast of St. Anthony and concludes with the traditional celebration of Epiphany on January 6.

Like most of the Pueblo communities, many of the Tiguas, while practicing Christianity, primarily in the form of Roman Catholicism, continue to carry on and practice their own native religion and traditions.  The language and traditions are handed down to the younger generation so that they can discover the richness of their culture. 

 

Alfonso & Diana Baeza

Alfonso and Diana Baeza have been blessed to be with the Mt. Carmel Community for over 20 years. Their ministry work started with becoming Religious Ed teachers, teaching Confirmation and 1st Communion, while their children Briana and AJ received their sacraments. As the years went by, their volunteer work at the church grew with them helping in the annual festival. That eventually led to also overseeing the event.

Their family has grown in serving the church and the needs of the community. Alfonso is the church photographer and has maintained the website and all social media platforms. He has also helped with photos for the province for such events as professions, ordinations, and dedications of buildings. During the pandemic he was also responsible for setting up the live stream for daily and Sunday masses. Diana joined the church staff in 2016, as the bookkeeper.

Mt. Carmel has been their community and home where they are able to share their talents and grow in their faith. They are truly blessed to be part of the Franciscan community.

Raul & Angelina Donohoe

Raul and Angelina became parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 1993. Almost 30 years ago, they prayed on where they would send their son and daughter to school. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School was highly recommended by a mutual friend. This is how their adult faith journey came to be rooted here. As young children, teenagers, and young adults, they were involved in their neighborhood church and community. When they got married and moved to the far east part of the city, they did not have a home parish. Mass was celebrated in different halls and other venues as there was no church building.

Once their children began school, they formed a new community here at Mt. Carmel. The Franciscan Friars have been instrumental in helping us walk as a family. The friars have been present in their religious and educational instruction and have prepared them for receiving the sacraments. They are grateful and honored to the friars for helping them as a young couple then and an old couple now, to grow together with their family, in their faith journey.

Santos Gloria Espinoza

Santos Gloria Espinoza has been a lifelong, dedicated parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. She was born on April 22, 1943, in Socorro, Texas to her parents, Dario and Soledad Hernandez, who instilled in Gloria a deep faith in God and an appreciation for her community of Ysleta. The loves of her life are her late husband, Guadalupe Espinoza, Jr., their four daughters, +Monica, +Laura, Maria Isabel, and Gloria Guadalupe, and her granddaughter, Laura. Gloria’s educational experiences included Ysleta Elementary and Ysleta High School, as well as a Catholic upbringing that included strong participation in parish religious formation activities and dedicated involvement in numerous ministries, some of which Gloria continues to be a part of today.

Gloria has been an active member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Guadalupanas since 1986, serving as president for two terms, as well as Our Lady of Carmel Carmelitas since 2011, serving as president for one term. Both ministries promote and affirm the devotion to our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, respectively. Mrs. Espinoza has attended daily morning mass for over 22 years, serving as sacristan and eucharistic minister throughout that time. In addition, she has served as a Eucharistic minister to homebound parishioners for over 20 years. From 1994-2004, Gloria was blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Catholic Diocese of El Paso as a runner, a position which allowed her to assist various diocesan offices and departments as necessary.

To the many that have been fortunate to personally know and serve with Gloria, her years of service to her parish, her diocese, and her community serve as an inspiration and a reminder of unwavering faith in God, and examples of selfless and tireless acts of Christian love.

Carmen Lopez

Carmen was born and raised in Cd Juarez, Chih. Mexico. At the age of 25 she came to live in El Paso, TX, where she attended Our Lady of Mt Carmel since 1977. Since then, she has been a parishioner, regularly attending Mass on Sundays. In 2006, she attended an ACTS retreat, since that retreat, she became very involved in serving in the church and this is due to Fr. Charles McCarthy. He asked her to help him distribute the Eucharist and at another time he asked her to read a reading during mass. She did not want to disappoint him, so she decided to take classes at Tepeyac Institute, for Eucharist minister and Word Proclaimer. She also joined the Carmelitas. She loves to cook, and once a month, she along with other women cook for the mentally ill in Cd Juarez, Chih. Mexico. She also helps serve dinner to the migrants in El Paso, TX every Thursday. She is a Eucharist minister, Proclaimer of the Word, and Sacristan. She feels God has blessed her with a loving and understanding husband Ruben, three beautiful daughters and eight grandchildren.

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