Hearts on Fire - San Antonio

The Hearts on Fire Team in San Antonio, Texas

First of all, San Antonio is a great, if underrated city. Seventh largest in the United States, and second biggest in Texas, yet often overshadowed by its younger brothers Dallas and Houston with all their corporate behemoths and professional sports teams (S.A. only has one: the NBA's Spurs). But S.A. has more history, and Texans will forgive me, more charm. Home to a huge Latino population, the oldest cathedral in the U.S., and a series of historic missions, the city was very receptive to us both as visitors and retreat-givers.

About eighty young adults attended the retreat, which was held at the Jesuit-run parish/shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It went very well, thanks to our greater familiarity with our material and the tremendous openness of the retreatants. 

Teaching the morning offering, Ignatian discernment, living eucharistic lives, and how to do the examen or evening review...

Santiago leading a small group in prayer...

"Here's the plan: we put the band back together, do some gigs, earn some bread, bang! We'll have 5,000 bucks in no time." - Jake, The Blues Brothers. Different objective, but we too have gotten the band together... to teach about the (Sacred) heart.

We played our usual "coffeehouse" social Friday night, which was all mellow, spiritual and fun. One retreatant caught some of it on camera. Wait for Fr. Jim Marshall, S.J., associate pastor of O.L. of Guadalupe church, coming in at 3:30...

Shorter version here (thanks to Julia Fracker of "The Embassy" for these).

*   *   *

Perhaps not surprisingly, people actually do speak Southern here:

Overheard in Dallas retreat-house cafeteria: 
(lady to man, about somebody): "Who is he?" 
(man, matter-of-factly) "O, he's a good ol' boy from Alabama."

Before departing for San Antonio: 
(nice lady to me) "Git ready. It's hotter than a hootenanny down there!"

Southern hospitality and generosity has been truly living up to its reputation. I'll be making a separate post about our visit to the San Antonio missions, plus the eucharistic processions into the barrios of South-west part of the city. Tomorrow we hit the road once more. Next stop: Corpus Christi, Texas!


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