Last year, on February 17, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez. The logo for this special event said it all: “Two Nations One Faith.”
Conventual Franciscan Friars from Our Lady of Consolation Province were on both sides of the border for this historic visit to Juarez.
On the US side, Friars Mario Serrano and Andy Martinez, both serving as campus ministers, celebrated with many students from Our Lady of the Lake University and the University of Texas, El Paso. In Juarez, Friar Tom Smith joined 15 other priests from Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was seated very close to the front, with the sick and infirm.
Fr. Tom was interviewed recently by KFOX14 (El Paso). You can click here to see the interview.
Friar Miguel Briseno, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in El Paso, was at the Sun Bowl Stadium along with thousands of others.
To those gathered there, and to many others listening and watching from a distance, Pope Francis said: “Thank you, brothers and sisters at El Paso, for making us feel like one family, and one and the same Christian community.”
Celebrating Mass at the fairground of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope used the story of Jonah and Nineveh to help us understand the necessity of mercy:
“The king listened to Jonah, the inhabitants of the city responded and penance was decreed. God’s mercy has entered the heart, revealing and showing wherein our certainty and hope lie: there is always the possibility of change, we still have time to transform what is destroying us as a people, what is demeaning our humanity. Mercy encourages us to look to the present, and to trust what is healthy and good beating in every heart. God’s mercy is our shield and our strength.”
Please join us in praying for conversion, salvation, and mercy.
Lord, have pity on us, cleanse us from our sins and create in us a pure heart, a new spirit.