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Texas Catholic Culture – El Cristo de los Pescadores December 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, the struggle for the Church.

“Christ of the Fishermen.”  Reader LaGallina sent me the following description of a beautiful bit of Catholic culture, placed where the Brownsville Ship Channel meets the Gulf of Mexico (roughly).

From La Gallina:

The statue is called “el Cristo de los Pescadores” and is turned slightly to face the channel and greet the shrimp boats when they are coming back to shore. A Brownsville family brought this from Italy back in the 90s (I think) after they won a settlement with the shrimp boat company after their two sons were killed on the boat. They also hold a huge party on the grounds around the statue which includes a public rosary (with a gigantic rosary made by an elderly gent from Port Isabel), catered food for everyone (invited or not), fireworks, and of course the ever-present “matachines.” (Do you think the bishops before Vatican 2 had matachines dancers at their Catholic events?)

No, I don’t think so.

LaGallina also apprised me of Francis’ elevation of a Father Mario Alberto Aviles to be auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville.  This is noteworthy for the fact that Fr. Aviles comes from the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which operates one of the few “canonically regular” TLM in the Rio Grande Valley area (the only other one of which I am aware is at the Brownsville cathedral, if that one is still going.  Perhaps LaGallina can confirm).

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville is reputed to be pretty solidly orthodox and relatively friendly to the TLM.  Coming from a branch of the Oratorians based mostly in northern Mexico which is widely known for its liturgical and doctrinal orthodoxy (though it is quite small), it may be hoped that Bishop-elect Aviles may increase this disposition even more. I know several readers who have assisted at the St. Jude Thaddeus parish in Pfarr administered by the Oratorians, and they all speak highly of the beautiful TLM and solid catechesis offered there.

However, it should be noted that Bishop-elect Aviles hasn’t been pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus for 15  years, so I cannot really speak to his personal qualities or adherence to tradition.  I am told he seems down to earth and pretty solid overall.

Now, El Cristo de los Pescadores.  Very nice:

Statues like this, and even entire parishes, have long been dedicated to Catholic mariners in major ports around the world. For my money, one of the most beautiful parishes in the world, Our Lady of Bon Succours in Montreal, has a heavy nautical emphasis and a close association with the maritime trades.  Why, several of the Apostles including St. Peter were, of course, pescadores, themselves.

It’s another aspect of the still heartbreakingly deteriorating Catholic culture that deserves widespread revival.  Good on the family for dedicating a lovely statue like this to the shrimpers and other seafarers of the south Texas coast.


1. LaGallina - December 7, 2017

Yes, the TLM at the Cathedral is still going on. It is not actually at the cathedral, but at a “mission” of the cathedral just a few blocks away in downtown Brownsville, the beautiful Sacred Heart Church built (I think) in 1914 with all furniture, statuary, etc. original, intact and gorgeous.

Please pray for Sacred Heart Church, however, as Father Michael Amesse (rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart and Sacred Heart Church) has stated that it might have to be put up for sale!! It was almost sold and turned into a nightclub some years back, but concerned local citizens (and, of course Our Blessed Mother and Sacred Heart’s guardian angel) put a stop to that. Our TLM is every Friday evening at 6pm. We have had quite a few cancellations lately, however, as Fr. Amesse has a very heavy work load.

There are several other priests from the Diocese of Brownsville who love the TLM and say it for us occasionally. But they, too, have busy schedules and are not often available for us.

2. LaGallina - December 7, 2017

Speaking of churches by the sea, at Our Lady Star of the Sea C.C. in Port Isabel (where you catch the bridge to get to South Padre Island) they have a small statue of Our Lady displayed that was found floating in the bay (the Laguna Madre) by a coast guard captain sometime in the late 1800s.

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