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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:16 PM

Historical Catholic Church in Texas threatened by border wall, fighting back.

Last edited Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:49 PM - Edit history (2)


The government sued the local Roman Catholic diocese late last year to gain access for its surveyors at the site of La Lomita chapel, which opened in 1865 and was an important site for missionaries who traveled the Rio Grande Valley by horseback.

It remains an epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley’s Catholic community, hosting weddings and funerals, as well as an annual Palm Sunday procession that draws 2,000 people.

The chapel is a short distance from the Rio Grande. It falls directly into the area where CBP wants to build its “enforcement zone.”

The diocese said it opposes a border wall because the barrier violates Catholic teachings and the church’s responsibility to protect migrants, as well as the church’s First Amendment right of religious freedom. A legal group from Georgetown University has joined the diocese in its lawsuit.

Father Roy Snipes leads prayers each Friday for his chapel to be spared. Wearing a cowboy hat with his white robe and metal cross, he’s known locally as the “cowboy priest” and sometimes takes a boat on the Rio Grande to go from his home to the chapel.


"Such a structure would limit the freedom of the Church to exercise her mission in the Rio Grande Valley, and would in fact be a sign contrary to the Church’s mission. Thus, in principle, the bishop does not consent to use church property to construct a border wall."

In a rebuttal to the government filed in federal court, Garza argued the diocese property should be beyond the lawful reach the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"La Lomita Chapel is a sacred building destined for divine worship to which the faithful have a right of access for divine worship, especially its public exercise," Garza wrote, noting that La Lomita is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

And even though the chapel is not regularly used for Sunday worship and other activities, it remains a place "where mass and other Catholic religious services are conducted."

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Reply Historical Catholic Church in Texas threatened by border wall, fighting back. (Original post)
pnwmom Jan 10 OP
TexasTowelie Jan 10 #1
pnwmom Jan 10 #2

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:25 PM

1. I posted a thread about the Lomita Mission back in November.


The article was published in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:27 PM

2. Thanks!

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