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River Mass

A True Blessing

by David Tesitor  and Will Bechaver

GARDNER- Every August, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gardner leaves their small house of worship and brings the celebration of the Holy Eucharist to the great cathedral in the mountains.  The annual celebration has been held for about twenty years, and in all that time the event had to be moved indoors only once, that time due to snow.  However, this year, the event was once again held inside the church in Gardner, due to heavy rains on the upper Huerfano River.

    This year’s river Mass, though not celebrated by the river, was well attended by many parishioners from the Gardner area, as well as those familiar faces from Saint Mary’s in Walsenburg, Saint Anthony’s in Aguilar, and Christ The King in La Veta.  The Reverend Father Chris Adinuba, the pastor from Saint Mary’s, presided.  Sacred Heart is one of the mission churches at which he celebrates Mass weekly.  Music was provided by the Mariachi de Pueblo, the well-known group of musicians from Pueblo. This is an annual event on their calendar as well.

    Upon departing the church, worshipers were greeted by a downpour, making all thankful that the event had been relocated and transforming Main Street into quite a river of its own.  So, through the grace of God, it had become a riverside Mass after all.

 Following the Mass, the parishioners of Sacred Heart hosted a barbeque and potluck meal.  This is a time of fellowship when people come together to share a meal, play ball and horseshoes and let kids have a “splash in the river, under the watchful eye of their parents” according to Mickey D’Ambrosia, member of Sacred Heart. The weather cleared considerably by the end, and those who celebrated were treated to the sight of a glorious rainbow as they departed.