photo courtesy Friends of the Jesuits/Facebook

Friends of the Jesuits to clean, beautify Jesuit Gardens at Concordia Cemetery

On Saturday, “Friends of the Jesuits” will once again converge to clean and beautify the Jesuit Gardens of Concordia Cemetery, where 28 Jesuit priests and brothers are buried.

The West Texas winds and recent rains has brought some weeds and debris to the area, so on Saturday, November 2, from 9am to 12 noon, “Friends of the Jesuits” will once again clean and beautify the area.

Residents are invited to bring rakes, hoes, gloves and meet their fellow El Pasoans, while restoring a piece of El Paso’s history by cleaning and beautifying the Jesuit Gardens, just below the Spaghetti Bowl.

El Paso businessman & philanthropist Cesar Viramontes and his family, owners of International Garment Processors and Baron Chemical Company, will once again generously donate supplies and refreshments.

And as a special treat, Hector Chavez and the staff of the Jalisco Cafe will provide a delicious complimentary full course menudo breakfast for all to enjoy on site

“The Jesuits, these men of God truly built El Paso, morally, spiritually and with brick and mortar. We remember them by keeping their final resting place a place of honor,” organizers added. “They are part of our El Paso family.”

Among them are Fr. Carlos Pinto, SJ and Fr. Richard Thomas, SJ.

Fr. Carlos Pinto, a Jesuit missionary from Italy came to El Paso in 1892. Pinto built Sacred Heart Church in 1893, Immaculate Conception Church in 1893, St Ignatius Church in 1905, Guardian Angel Church in 1908, Sagrado Corazon Iglesia in Ciudad Juarez in 1910 and Holy Family Church in 1914 and the list goes on. Fr. Pinto established 6 schools. Pinto is considered the Apostle of El Paso.

Fr. Rick Thomas was a charismatic and loving priest who passed away in 2006. There is a most wonderful story about this man. Christmas of 1972, Fr. Thomas and a group went to the Juarez dump to feed the poor that scavenged and lived there, the majority of which were children.

“They only had enough food for about 160 people…over 300 people were there…miraculously all were fed,” Friends of the Jesuits shared via an emailed news release. “They had so much food left over Fr. Thomas took the food to a Juarez nursing home and an orphanage, all were fed. Miracles do happen!”

Entrance To Concordia is at 3700 East Yandell, proceed south thru the cemetery, toward Interstate 10, where the Jesuit Gardens is located.

For more information, contact Rick Melendrez 915-565-1663 (landline) or visit the event’s Facebook page.