By Abril Villarreal-Medina
On December 7, 2016, Oblate Missions and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. Our San Antonio Grotto was originally dedicated and consecrated on December 7, 1941 and it is a faithful replica of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France. Over the years, the Grotto has undergone many changes, including the July 1999 addition of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Tepeyac and a statue of St. Juan Diego. We are also proud to announce the ongoing construction and upcoming addition of “La Plaza Tepeyac” in the Spring of 2017.
The joyful celebration took place on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM outdoors at the Grotto, with the company of dozens of devout members of the community, Oblate priests, and even some media outlets. Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller graced us with his presence and celebrated the beautiful Mass. Fr. Billy Morell, Fr. Leo Perez, Fr. Saturnino Lajo, Fr. Charlie Banks, Fr. Richard Hall, Fr. Warren Brown, and Bishop Mike Pfeifer were among the Oblates concelebrating the special Mass.
“I want to congratulate the Oblates of Mary Immaculate on the labor of love they are doing in San Antonio, in Texas, and throughout the world,” said the Archbishop with a smile.
Despite the frigid temperatures and the threat of rain, the attendees were joyous and full of energy. At the end of the Mass, the congregation, led by “La Estudiantina Guadalupana Potosina,” proceeded to the reception at the Martires Oblatos Pastoral Center (MOPC), also in the Grotto grounds.
“La Estudiantina, ” a group of young men from San Luis Potosí, México, -where Archbishop Gustavo is from- delighted the Most Reverend and the guests with their beautiful music and dance for over an hour. The Grotto Anniversary celebration was a wonderful occasion and we are thankful for the opportunity to have shared this beautiful event with Oblates and members of our Catholic community.