By Abril Villarreal-Medina, Originally Published on OBLATEMISSIONS.ORG
Oblate Missions and Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto are blessed to have had the opportunity to celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass in honor of Fr. Saturnino Lajo, OMI, in his 60 years of Oblate Missionary life. Despite the sweltering temperatures we experienced yesterday, Sunday July 30, the Mass was attended by over a thousand guests, joyful to join Fr. Lajo in such a special occasion. We were privileged to have received the company of some Oblates from the Buffalo, New York area and even some from Rome, Italy.
A group of mariachi and the Grotto Matachines were sure to be present for the celebration. A set of lovely blue cloths covered the altar and some were posed next to Our Lady of Guadalupe’s banner, which were carefully sewn from a collection of thousands of small cloths that contained the special petitions and names of our donors and benefactors from across the globe. Near the end of the Mass, Fr. Lajo was pleasantly surprised with a set of special gifts from the Grotto Pastoral Team, along with a slideshow of beautiful memories and a wonderful compilation of messages from his family in Spain. The celebration was capped with a banquet of Mexican delicacies and “aguas frescas,” homemade refreshments.
Father Saturnino Lajo was born in Valladolid, Spain, and at the tender age of 17, he answered the call of God and professed his first religious vows. Over the years, the Oblate missionary service has taken Fr. Lajo to numerous regions of Spain, Mexico, and the United States, although he has touched countless lives and souls across the world thanks to his multiple radio transmissions, television shows, and the publishing of several books throughout his life.
Beyond being an honest and caring priest, Fr. Lajo has also played the role of a great leader, as the Oblate Director of Oblate Missions and the Adjunct Director of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, which have allowed Oblate Missions and Oblate brothers throughout the world to carry their noble mission to the poorest and most abandoned of the globe.
Many thanks to the Grotto Pastoral Team and to all those that made this beautiful celebration a success. We are thankful to our Lord for allowing us to witness the humility, wisdom, and Oblate charisma of Fr. Nino Lajo, and we pray we’re able to enjoy his wonderful company for many more years to come. Father Lajo, congratulations on your 60 years of Oblate Missionary Life!