A Place To Pray In Peace

Main headline at CNS today, Tulsa Bishop Edward J. Slattery has proclaimed a diocesan shrine at a parish in his see city dedicated to Santo Toribio Romo, considered to be an unofficial patron of immigrants.


The idea came from a parishioner, Simone Navarro, shortly before Oklahoma’s immigration law — the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 — went into effect last Nov. 1.

“I wanted a place where immigrants could pray in peace.”

Who is this saint?

Father Toribio Romo Gonzalez was martyred by Mexican federal troops in 1928 during the Cristero Wars, an uprising against Mexico‘s anti-Catholic government. It is said St. Toribio appears to many Mexican immigrants in the Sonoran Desert — which covers large parts of Arizona and California and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California — and assists them as they make their way north seeking work in the United States.

He and twenty-four others were canonized in 2000 by John Paul II for their role in resisting–without taking up arms–the anti-Catholic policies of Mexico’s federal government. The man was only twenty-eight, and had been a priest for seven years.

A NYT piece by Ginger Thompson relates the first “immigration miracle,” which are not officially accepted by the Church hierarchy:

(A)ccording to church lore, … a native of the neighboring state of Michoacán, remembered popularly only as José … had arrived at the border with no documents and no hope. Then a stranger appeared and offered him safe passage, a good meal and a decent job.

José asked how much it would cost to buy his American dream. The mysterious stranger asked only that José visit him sometime in Santa Ana de Guadalupe.

José made it to the States, then eventually came here to thank his generous coyote, as immigrant smugglers are called. People directed him to the small chapel on the hill, where a dumbfounded José learned that his coyote was a saint.

Bishop Slattery though, seems to endorse this spiritual support for his diocese. I say good for him. Our nation is stronger for our hard-working immigrants, legal or otherwise, who enrich our society by their labors, their culture, and their faith. Simone Navarro again:

We have no desire to displace anyone here or to take anyone’s job. We just want to contribute to the church and to society. I hope the shrine becomes a place of prayer where we can strengthen our faith and pray for our friends and family.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Church News, Liturgy, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Place To Pray In Peace

  1. Gustavo Martin says:

    HI

    MY NAME IS GUSTAVO MARTIN, I AM A DESEENDENT OF
    SANTO TORIBIO, HE IS MY DISTANTE UNCLE. I AM ALSO A ARTIST (PAINTER) AND HAVE TWO DRAWING THAT I HAVE DONE OF SANTO TORIBIO, (MAYBE FOR FUNDRAISING PURPOSE). ALSO MY UNCLE JESUS ROMO IS A SCULPTUREIST HOW MAY HELP WITH THE SHIRINE.
    HIS WEB SITE IS ROMO STUDIO’S. WE BOTH LIVE IN SACRAMENTO CA. LET ME KNOW IF WE CAN HELP.
    THANK YOU AND QUE VIVA CRISTO REY
    GUSTAVO MARTIN

  2. Dear Gustavo,
    I am building a special Baptistry here at the Diocesan Shrine of St.Toribio Romo and am planning to depict St.Paul, St.Peter, St.Felipe de Jesus (first martyr of Mexico), Our Lady of Guadalupe and St.Joseph. There will also be a special place for ST.Toribio but we have a life-sized statue of him already. Maybe some time if you are in Oklahoma I can show you what I am planning to build. I am waiting until we have some money first. Fr.Tim

  3. BULMARO says:

    FELICIDADEZ POR HACER,UN SANTUARIO EN ESTADOS UNIDOS DE SANTO TORIBIO, DIOS LOS COLME DE BENDICIONES.

  4. Jarred says:

    Fr. Tim’s Parish- Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tulsa, Ok now has a website that has information concerning Saint Toribio Romo and the Shrine in his honor in Oklahoma. You can find the information at http://www.stspeterandpaul-tulsa.org/SaintToribioShrine/tabid/59/language/en-US/Default.aspx
    We are now taking donations to help build the Shrine- the design plans for the shrine will be posted on the website soon!!

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