Naming baptismal promises

by Brandon Beck

The patron saint of my home church is Mark.

I live in a town named for Mark on a river named for Mark.

Archaeological surveys show that people have inhabited this land for around 12,000 years, and Spanish settlers, under the leadership of conquistadors and missionaries, settled here around 1648.

The names of the river and town recognize Spanish colonialism – San Marcos; the name of the church recognizes the subsequent Anglo invasion – St. Mark’s. But what became of the indigenous names?

My friends Mario Garza and Maria Rocha strive for justice and peace every day by remembering and speaking the language of their people – the people of this land – the Coahuiltecan People, by educating others about the history of this land and its people, and by living their own heritage as modern Coahuiltecans authentically.

The Feast of St. Mark is a time when our church gathers at the San Marcos River for baptisms, blessings, and barbecue (actually fried chicken, but I like alliteration).

As we promise together to strive for justice and peace among all, and pledge to respect the dignity of the Earth and every human being – when we gather at the river to pray with St Mark and all the Saints – may we remember those who predate us and our names.

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