New St. Eugene de Mazenod Church Dedicated in Brownsville, Texas
Compiled with information and photographs supplied by Carroll F. Ray, Jr. and Fr. Jim Brobst, OMI
The first parish in the world named for Eugene de Mazenod as a Saint, was dedicated by Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville before a packed congregation on Saturday December 7, 2013. The brand-new, 550 seat church features an historic, eight-foot tall Oblate cross salvaged from a former Oblate parish in Big Spring, Texas and stained-glass windows commemorating Oblate history in the lower Rio Grande Valley.
The current pastor, Fr. Timothy Paulsen, OMI ministers to 600 registered families in this largely immigrant community. The parish’s first pastor, Fr. Harry Schuckenbrock, OMI received a standing ovation at a celebration where the former church building, now slated to become a new parish hall, was named in his honor.
South Central Area Councilor, Fr. Jim Brobst, OMI attended and presented Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville a relic of the actual heart of St. Eugene. Later Fr. Brobst wrote, “It struck me how appropriate it was to be placing a relic of the founder’s heart into the parish altar where his great heart continues to beat, in our own province renewal, and in the people of that parish, so representative of Oblate love for the poor and of our great history of ministry in North America,”
St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish in Brownsville was so named one day after Pope John Paul II canonization St. Eugene in Rome on December 3, 1995.