Churchgoers Celebrate Historic Parish Settled Along Rio Grande
LOS EBANOS – Dozens of parishioners celebrated the 105th anniversary of a small church along the Rio Grande late September.
The St. Michael the Archangel Church building may be new but its congregation has a long history.
Several parishioners present said their ancestors crossed the river from Mexico and established Los Ebanos, now a small community of 335 residents west of La Joya. This year, they gathered to honor the place where their families began celebrating mass.
“They all decided it has to be the way the people celebrate. And so we had to incorporate a lot of the culture and a lot of the history and the story of these people,” said Father Michael.
The procession left the church grounds and made its way to the Rio Grande, carrying with them their patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.
“Of course, we start at the river where the life of this community is very much alive. People crossed there and they came over here to establish this church,” said Father Manuel.
The procession passed right by a U.S. Border Patrol watchtower.
Catholic Diocese of Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores blessed all that came to take part of the celebration as they overlooked the river.
“San Miguel Archangel in Los Ebanos, one of the most historic communities that we have in the Diocese. It’s time to celebrate – not only St. Michael but also the faith of this community and the witness they have given for many, many generations,” he said.
After prayers, the congregation made its way back to the church.
“A lot of children that were born here have gone elsewhere but some of the pioneers are still here,” said former resident of Los Ebanos Manuel Jose Luis Trigo.
“I love my little town,” said Mirta Trigo Flores, another former resident of Los Ebanos. “We start at the river because most of our parents were from Mexico. They were immigrants and they crossed the river and some of them didn’t make it… My mom was crossed in one of those baños where you used to wash clothes.”
“To be able to come to the church where my dad was brought when he passed on,” said Ramiro Flores, whose mother was also taken there after passing.
Visitors from other local congregations like Holy Family Church in Edinburg also enjoyed the festivities of the 105 years of St. Michael Catholic Church in Los Ebanos.