Originally published on OMI World
The parish of St. Eugene de Mazenod was canonically erected in the diocese of Brownsville, Texas, by decree of Bishop Raymundo J. Peña on September 21, 1996; it was the first parish in the USA to bear the name of the newly canonized founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The site was formerly known as Our Lady of Peace Mission, a dependent station of Christ the King Parish of Brownsville. The growth of the community prompted the creation of this independent parish and the Missionary Oblates responded to Bishop Peña’s invitation to staff the new parish. In 1998, His Eminence Francis Cardinal GEORGE, Archbishop of Chicago, also an Oblate, celebrated an outdoor Mass at this location to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Oblates to what is now the Diocese of Brownsville.
Saint Eugene de Mazenod parish is finally going to have a new church rather than the temporary metal-sided building that has been the center of worship, catechism and fellowship activities since the parish began. With the help of a Catholic Extension Society gift and with the hard work of the parishioners and its pastor, Fr. Timothy PAULSEN, construction is underway.
Decorating the new church will be a large replica of the Oblate cross. Monsignor Bernard Gully and the parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in Big Spring, Texas, donated the cross which formerly hung in the now-closed Sacred Heart church, once an Oblate parish. Rancher Kyle Clement brought the cross to Our Lady of Refuge parish in Roma, Texas, where Fr. James ERVING is pastor. He was joined there by Roma parishioners, Luis Angel Guillen and his two sons, Luis Angel III and Alejandro for the final delivery to its new location and a blessing by the pastor, Fr. Paulsen.