A Vision Becomes Reality: Ribbon cutting ceremony held for new parish hall at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Cisco
CISCO — Parishioners and well-wishers gathered at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Cisco on her feast day, October 7, to celebrate the completion of a new parish hall. Mass was celebrated by Vicar General Father Jonathan Wallis, assisted by the current pastor, Father Joseph Pudota, SAC, and former pastors Father Robert Strittmatter and Father Vijaya Raju Mareedu, SAC. Father Marian Emmanuel, SAC, visiting from the Diocese of El Paso, also attended.
The parish hall is a project and a dream that started nine years ago with the purchase of the land. The building committee, which includes Jim Horton, Josie Flores, Ann Geasland, and Pauline Scheuren, was diligent and dedicated to making the vision come to life. Horton, a parishioner and retired architect, worked closely with the diocese to help make the build both affordable and suitable to the needs of the parish.
Fr. Wallis, who served the parish from 2012-2014, said the parish hall is a “sign of tremendous hope, a great blessing,” a sentiment that was expressed by many. “It will be a place where people can gather to really share the Catholic faith, to experience joys and sorrows, to really build each other up in the Church.”
The parishioners are hopeful that the parish hall will become an avenue to share in Christ’s message, exactly as Fr. Wallis described. Fr. Mareedu, who served the community from 2018-2023 and is well-versed in the unique needs of rural Texans, said, “I’m glad I could see this coming to reality… we should be prepared for the future generations, to be as Christ, and reach to others.”
The parish regularly hosts a friendship meal to serve the community. Previously, they rented out a space to accommodate the crowd that they are blessed to serve. And now, among all the events that many hope to carry out, the friendship dinner takes the cake.
Fr. Pudota, who goes simply by “Father Joseph” and expressed excitement to be in Cisco where there is “nature, and people are welcoming,” looks forward to the friendship meals especially. He is also very excited to have a place to host any large event without having to ask others to accommodate them.
The pastor is very grateful for “all the donors, the altar society who raised the funds, the people who had the vision, the parishioners, and the building committee under the guidance of Jim Horton.”
Flores also expressed deep gratitude to Jim Horton, saying, “There’s four of us on the committee, but there’s one that really stands out as taking this project on: Jim Horton knew exactly what we needed, and we are very grateful, very thankful for him.”
Parishioners Susan Horton and Ann Geisland are working hard to preserve the history of the parish and uncover new matters frequently. They are a part of the altar society, which worked diligently to raise money for all of the appliances, tables, and chairs for the new hall.
The community is strong, and they are excited, not for what they can do for themselves with this space, but for what they will be able to do for others.
By Katie Leonard