A Tale of Two Churches

Publisher: dwinger      Volume No.  3      Issue No 1         Date Jan. 7, 04


While we were in Dallas for Christmas, we had the opportunity to attend Mass at St. Rita’s parish in North Dallas. St. Rita’s seems to be an affluent parish. The church building is relatively new and beautifully built. The architecture is modern with huge stain glass windows high in the ceiling with various scenes depicting the life of Christ.


As I watch the people arrive, most are dressed in fine clothing. There seems to be a reverence and love among the people coming to worship. I notice the makeup is mostly white, but there are Black, Hispanic, and Asian cultures also represented. The people of the church are friendly, but something I notice is that there is not a familiarity with one another. It seems to me this comes with the territory of a big Church. It is hard for everyone to know each other. After the service Teague and I were paid a nice compliment. An older woman sitting behind us complimented us on our nice looking family. I am sure she must have not been talking about how we looked cosmetically because both the boys had freshly burred haircuts (it’s a boys basketball thing), and they sure don’t look very pretty at the moment.


When we got back to Gruver, we went to Mass at the Cristo Redentor Spanish Mission here in Gruver on New Years Day. The Church is very small in comparison to St. Rita’s, but it is decorated beautifully. The makeup of the people is Hispanic, and instead of being in the majority I am now in the minority. The clothes the people wear are not quite as fancy as that of those in Dallas, but many are dressed in their finest.


A Mexican priest conducts the service mostly in Spanish. He does deliver a lesson in English and Spanish. He told a very funny story in Spanish, but said he was unable to translate to English. His point for the lesson was to keep ourselves focused on Jesus. As we started to pray the prayer which Jesus gave us the priest says that we are obviously separated by languages, but we are one in Jesus, and he encourages each of us to pray in our own language. As we leave the church we greet many of the friends that we know. We are unable to have a long conversation because our barrier, but we can always smile and say hello and wish each other a Happy New Year.


These two churches are so different in language, culture, and architecture, but they are so alike in peace, joy, and love. They exist for one reason, and the people are there for one reason… JESUS. May I keep my focus on Him.


About dwinger

Former farmer, now college instructor
This entry was posted in Catholic, Eucharist, Family, Friends, Listening for God, Prayer, Sacraments and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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