Epiphany and Franciscan Life in El Paso

by Fr. Tom Smith, OFM Conv.

Fr. Andy Martinez and Fr. Miguel Briseño organized an Epiphany celebration in El Paso, not only for the local friars but also for young men interested in learning more about Conventual Franciscan life. On January 6th, the four friars in El Paso, five of us from Mesilla Park, two visiting friars, and five young men from the area with whom Fr. Andy has been in contact, all joined at Mt. Carmel Friary.

el paso voc 2The tables stretched through the dining room into the kitchen and the living room was full! After eating the “rosca” cake and finding the little hidden images of Jesus, we each received a card with a Franciscan saint, Scripture passage, and a deceased friar to keep in mind throughout the coming year.

el paso voc 3Then Fr. Miguel took us to see the recently installed new altar, podium, and chairs in the Church (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). They are very nice and they go well with the redesigned sanctuary, new tile floor, stained glass windows, new doors, and improved lighting. Finally we visited the mission church (Ysleta Mission) and explained the Native American heritage making it the oldest continuously active parish in the United States.

Fr. Leopold and Fr. Vince near the adobe Christmas scene in the Mission Church
Fr. Leopold and Fr. Vince near the adobe Christmas scene in the Mission Church

 Many thanks to Fr. Andy and Fr. Miguel for organizing the evening!