For the second consecutive year, Archbishop Alexander Sample confirmed several dozen Catholics at a Mass at a migrant work camp in Fairview.
The confirmation ceremony completes the sacramental initiation for a group of workers who live at the camp during the harvest season. They come from Mexico and Central America to work pick seasonal fruit in the summer, working long hours kneeling in the sun to earn enough money to support their families both here and abroad.
"I'm most impressed with this group of people's infinite faith and great humility. Here in the middle of this gravel parking lot, they come formally dressed, with great respect and a heart full of faith for the sacraments. They come filled with reverence to celebrate their faith, while in life they have to live a harsh reality, "said Archbishop Sample.
"I'm sorry I do not speak Spanish," the archbishop told those at the Mass. "I want to say a few words from the bottom of my heart. I have been archbishop here for a year now and in this time I have had many different experiences. But I can assure you, and I have told many people, that this celebration has been very significant and I mean it from my heart. I want to thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you and want you to know that you are always, always in the heart of your pastor.”
After the archbishop spoke, the migrants and their families applauded the leader of the church in Western Oregon who celebrated the sacraments of first Communion and Confirmation to 24 Hispanic immigrants.
One of the significant moments of the celebration, which has become a tradition of the ministry of the Church of St. Anne in Gresham, was the delivery of the gifts. Leading the procession to present before the altar, were Ricardo Reyes and Antonio Hilario Martinez, who each presented a flat of blueberries, which represent the tireless work of the farmworkers who migrate from one place to another to find work.
"This offering really impressed me last year during my first celebration," said the archbishop. “This fruit is the result of hard work, which came from your hands. These blueberries are a fundamental part of your reality and your life.”
The migrants were presented as candidates before the Archbishop by Father José Luis González, pastor of St. Anne Church in Gresham. All of the candidates studied catechism under the leadership of Corina Carsner, who leads the ministry to people who live in this camp and the many others nearby.
The candidates who received the sacraments were: Hilario Antonio Martinez, Ireland Arellanes, Hilaria Benitez, Elvira Contreras Ordaz, Regulus Flores de Jesus, Adan Galindo, Antonio Maria Garcia, Antonio Hernández Avelina, Irene Hernández García, Rosa Luna Rodriguez Monjaraz Jaime Vasquez, Vasquez Fought Monjaraz, Monjaraz Margarita Vasquez, Mota Leobardo Hernandez, Yanele Mota, Antonio Pérez Filiberta, Yolanda Perez Juarez, Ricardo Reyes, Sophia Santiago Hernández, Juan Vásquez Cruz, Fernando Garcia Vasquez, Leticia Vasquez Garcia, Alberto Vasquez Hernandez and Eduardo Zurita García.
Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
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ˇFelicitaciones! queridos, y siempre bienvenidos. su hermano, Rolando, OFS.