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PARISH LIFE

‘where they’re at’ 200 percent. Father Cabrera has been making one-and-a-half monthly payments on the note, and will use collections from the Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope to pay off the debt. As for the potholes, the parish will use the nearly $100,000 they made in their recent parish festival to pave the parking lot. “People have been extremely generous,” Father Cabrera said. The debt and improvements to the physical plant, while challenging, are clear targets and less difficult to attack. The spiritual and pastoral needs of the parish are harder to tackle; harder, but not impossible. Father Cabrera was born in Falfurrias, a mere 30 miles south of Rancho Alegre. He tells parishioners he understands their problems because he grew up in a community very much like their own. He shares their hardscrabble life experiences, their family structures, their cultural customs and their social justice issues.

Part of what has happened, Father Cabrera said, is the people have changed their self-image and internalized the racism directed at them. “I tell them ‘don’t think of yourselves as others see you’,” Father Cabrera said. “The general consensus is always the little church in the barrio, but it really isn’t. It’s been healthy for a number of years. I keep telling them ‘we are already the church that God is calling us to be.’ We just haven’t realized it.” A large part of Father Cabrera’s success is his caring approach. “It’s easy to tell them ‘too bad’, it’s harder to take the time to talk with them about their situation,” Father Cabrera said. “Even in tribulation, God sends us blessings,” he told the congregation in his homily at a recent Sunday Mass. The pastor’s approach was evident that Sunday. The church was filled to capacity. The crying room was jampacked. People were standing in the rear of the church and on the side isles. He said that he had a responsibility to those coming

Sunday Mass at our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice is standing-room only. Parishioners respond to Father Julian Cabrera with enthusiasm and joy. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC

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Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - June 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

South Texas Catholic - June 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

Profile for diocesecc