Tag Archives: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Not enough talk, longer processions!

You have heard that it was said, “Less talk, more processions!” Well, yesterday, in the drizzlely rain, in the smallest parish in North America, we had our procession, again.

We didn’t have enough men the same height to carry the statue and be able to trade off, say, at the half mile increments, again and again, an important logistic. So, the statue was in the truck (with Juan Diego) and then also our “antorcha” was carried (the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe). We sang lots of Marian hymns. We prayed lots of prayers. We wound through the streets of Andrews, going the past the rectory in the picture above, and even had blue-light accompaniment for a while. We arrived safely, with ourselves and the town better for the experience. I have the best parish in the world. I was very moved, very much felt to be the pastor of Jesus’ little flock.

As expected, we came across a gang of druggies, catching them off guard when we had blue-light accompaniment. They stopped and plotted what to do with this sudden invasion into their neighborhood, their turf. Hah!, thought I. They stopped to the side of the road – and, as is always the case with druggies – totally kept their heads down and facing away, not out of any ultra-reverence for Our Lady of Guadalupe, methinks, but so as not to be recognized as the druggies they were. I’ve seen this like hundreds of times in going around with the police. You can blue-light them for a stop right along side of them, sirens screaming, and they will just put their heads down and turn away. They knew I knew who they were, even if they were turned away. But, it had to be impressive to them, this manifestation of piety, of religion, of all that is good and holy, leaving them flabbergasted. Good! It’s all a bit disarming. Well, actually not for everyone…

There was concern just a few minutes later on a super narrow 25mph multiple blind curve road on the procession route, when some twenty-something white-boys young men in a large silver truck drove along in the opposing lane of traffic rather aggressively, not slowing down for the conditions of crowded narrow streets on blind curves in the rain. They circled around again and did the same thing within just a minute, the second time with phone video going. Maybe they were pious and devout young men wanting to keep the wonderful memories of the procession forever!

Being evil and bad, I was thinking, instead, the second time through, with their being equally aggressive and now evidently super-pumped on adrenaline (I saw them from like two feet away as they passed by way too quickly), that Jesus’ little flock was going to be purposely rammed, you know, because it takes a lot of bravery to run over people peacefully praying, you know, because it takes a lot of bravery to run over little kids with an oversized truck with tires taller than they are, you know, to be men of valor, to be tough. But maybe they thought they were patriots “protecting America” from “illegal immigrants.” But they didn’t stop to ascertain who they were. They only saw that they were Latinos. Those were my bad and evil thoughts, which, however, were shared by one our extremely capable military guys (hey! other white-boys!) accompanying the procession to protect against any possible worst case scenarios. I wonder if the video of those two young men will show up on FB (which I don’t have). But I grant that their comments might well appreciate a pious procession and be entirely supportive in these times of Covid-lockdown…

Having said that, other town residents voiced their opinion that what they were seeing was “great” and “beautiful”, all smiles and all encouragement, including from one of the local ministers and his wife. I love that, a lot.

There was talk that next year we might expand the route a bit, like some 15 more miles. We’ll see about that!

But that’s the procession. There was also some talk complaining that along with the processions, there’s not enough talk: Father George, you gotta put up more of your sermons on-line! Do it! We depend on them!

Yikes. Now I feel guilty. I’ve been remiss. It’s just that no matter how presentable any homily might happen to be, I always ruin it, so to speak, for publication, making an off-hand comment over against, say, the USCCB, against unhelpful ambiguity, against religiously criminal activities. But maybe it’s important to voice all that as well. Saint Pius X did, right?

So, I say, “Not enough talk, and longer processions!”


Filed under Free exercise of religion

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (cultural dancing in pantaloons, ed.)



These are the Showy Lady Slippers – by the hundreds – that come out during the month of Our Lady, Jesus’ good mom, up at the hermitage. These flowers appear to me to be “Old World” dancing figures in fancy cultural pantaloons.

I am also reminded that it has been said that the depiction of Mary on the Tilma of Juan Diego – Our Lady of Guadalupe – is that she is calmly, gently, participating in a dance of joy. You’ll see that her left knee is held out quite a bit. And she does have much joy, as she knows that the dreadful slaughter of untold numbers of people, especially children, as sacrifice to the gods of the day is about to come abruptly to an end.


And then I recall – should I make brave enough to even mention this – my own Missionary of Mercy “dance” in the Paul VI Audience Hall over in Vatican City State:

byers dance paul vi audience hall

There is much in which to rejoice in mercy based on justice and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth. Yes. Yet, there have been Catholic pundits who have publicly condemned me for this celebration of Jesus. They may just want to remember that it is Jesus who brought us mercy based on justice and truth, and that that is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Perhaps one recalls in regard to these pundits the Saul’s daughter Michal and how she despised David’s dancing…

“David, girt with a linen apron [signifying his priesthood in the line of Melchizedek], came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David [priest in the line of Melchizedek that he was] offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings, he [as priest in the line of Melchizedek] blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. He then distributed among all the people, to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel, a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes. When David returned to bless his own family, Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!” But David replied to Michal: “I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD’S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD, but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteem, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored.” And so Saul’s daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:14-23)

That passage is about the Lord and His covenant. It is about the Ark, a symbol of the very mother of God, of course. David’s dancing is a foreshadowing of the Woman clothed with the Sun, who hold’s within her womb the promised Messiah, the King of kings and Prince of the Most Profound Peace.

So, yes. A flower for the Immaculate Conception.

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