Big Procession, Big Plans: Part I

On October 13th, 2017, hundreds of people converged on Mater Dei Parish in Irving, Texas, to attend a Sung Mass and candlelit procession in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fátima.

The evening began with Mass at 6pm, the procession beginning at 7:30. The statue of Our Lady of Fátima, lit up brightly in the dark evening, was borne a mile and a half to Trinity View Park, with 700-800 attendees singing hymns and praying all 15 decades of the Rosary on the way. Two large speakers projected the voice of the decade-leader to the participants, and people who lived along the route of the procession came out of their houses to see what was happening. Mater Dei pastor Fr. Thomas Longua gave a talk at the park, and upon the return of the faithful to the church, any who desired it were enrolled in the Brown Scapular, with about 50 new members receiving the Scapular. 300 petitions filled a petition basket that had been set up for prayer requests to Our Lady. The evening concluded with a convivial reception in the parish hall, where it was standing-room only in a space with a 250-300 person capacity. The entire event wrapped up around midnight.

This procession is a prime example of the amazing things that are happening at this apostolate. To learn more about the procession and everything else going on, we checked in with Mr. Adrian Montes, the Parish Life Coordinator at Mater Dei.

Mr. Montes explained to us the incredible amount of preparation and manpower that went into the procession. 5 months and 100 volunteers were involved, with various parish groups contributing in some way. From the 20 men who rotated carrying the bier that held the statue of Our Lady, to the volunteers in passenger vans who provided shuttle services to and from the park for those who could not make the walk, the generosity of those involved was tremendous. 25 men with walkie-talkies provided a safety shield for the procession, and many other volunteers offered their time and resources in accomplishing a variety of other duties. “The spirit of this whole procession was awesome,” Mr. Montes said.

The event drew Catholics from other churches, including some Ordinariate and Byzantine Catholics. And some Protestants even came! “We all have one Mother, and we are all her children,” Mr. Montes said.

There is a lot on the horizon for this north Texas parish. You may have read our post here about the capital campaign that Mater Dei recently launched, the 1100 Sunday Mass attendees necessitating the building of a bigger space. There are already many groups active in the parish, and Mr. Montes told us more about some of the big plans that are in motion.

But we aren’t going to tell you about them here. There’s just too much to put in one post. Stay tuned for Big Procession, Big Plans: Part II in which we’ll continue our conversation with Mr. Montes and tell you more about all the exciting things going on at our Dallas apostolate.

October 25, 2017