My Christmas at Eagle Pass, Texas

Eagle Pass, Texas

By Fr. Arun William Rozario, OMI

The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of God’s ultimate gift: the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. Someone told me God’s love is like a birthday cake. You enjoy it most when you share it with others. Christmas is always special as we ponder on God’s love and the humility of our Lord as he was born in a manger. 

(L-R) Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, Fr. Lawrence Mariasoosai, Fr. Arun Rozario

I celebrated this year’s Christmas at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Eagle Pass. I enjoyed being with Fr. Lawrence Mariasoosai OMI, Pastor, Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, OMI, and the faithful. Fr. Cornelius went to Eagle Pass on December 16, and I joined Frs. Lawrence and Cornelius on December 22.  

There are 3 Oblate Parishes in Eagle Pass namely: Sacred Heart Parish, St. Joseph’s Parish and Our Lady of Refuge Parish.  

Fr. Mariasoosai and the couple who portrayed Mary and Joseph

It was an occasion for me to see the deep devotion of the people to the novenas, posada, prayers, Masses, and Confessions. I enjoyed the Christmas enactment beautifully done by the children. It brought back my fond memories of celebrating Christmas with indigenous people in Bangladesh.  

Visiting with a local family are: (L-R) Fr. Lawrence Mariasoosai, Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, and on the far right, Fr. Arun Rozario

In many ways, it opened my mind to see the reality of the border between the United States and Mexico. We saw the struggle and hardships the migrants have been going through. We also noticed the love, care, and hospitality of the local people of Eagle Pass.  

(L-R) Frs. Ngoka, Mariasoosai, and Rozario enjoying Christmas lights at San Juan Plaza

The 4th Sunday of Advent being December 24th, we had to cover Masses for the 4th Sunday and Christmas Vigil and Midnight Masses. Then we had Masses on December 25th.  

I realized from Saturday (December 23) to Monday (December 25), there were 13 Masses at Our Lady of Refuge and in two Mission Chaples under Our Lady of Refuges at Our Lady Lourdes and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Quemado. 

(L-R) Celebrating Christmas are: Fr. Richard Kulwiec, OMI, Fr. Peter Antonisamy, OMI, Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, OMI, Fr. Richard Hickle, OMI, Sch. Bro. Dogo Anaguedeu, OMI, Fr. Lawrence Mariasoosai, OMI, and Fr. Arun Rozario, OMI

We had a Christmas get-together with the Oblates on December 26th. Fr. Richard Kulwiec OMI, District Superior and Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish prepared a lunch for us. There were 7 of us: Fr. Peter Antonisamy OMI, Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Fr. Robert Hickle, OMI, Fr. Richard Kulwiec OMI, Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish Fr. Lawrence Mariasoosai OMI, Pastor, Our Lady of Refuge, Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, OMI, Scholastic Dogo Anaguedeu, OMI and me.