CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — To honor those lost to COVID-19 in the community, Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be starting a prayer garden at the church.
On Thursday, the church started selling memorial bricks for $60. The bricks will line the prayer garden, can be customized with up to three lines of text, and the money raised from selling the bricks will go to the construction of the garden.
Father Frank X. Martinez, the pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, said the church created three teams to help people come back to their faith after being gone from mass for so long; an event team, a memorial team, and a welcome back team.
“We’re coming to a time now where people seem to be numb, their souls are numb, their minds are numb, and it’s not their fault, it’s just that there’s so much going on,” Father Frank said.
The garden is the work of the memorial team, and Father Frank said he hopes his parishioners, and people of the community, can enjoy the garden.
“One of the main reasons we come up with this memorial garden, is so that we can have a place of rest, a place of comfort, a place where we can just be at peace,” he said. “If this prayer garden is just one piece of helping people be at peace themselves, that’s what we’re about.”
One of the parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help who this garden will be particularly special to is Leticia Mondragon, who is part of the memorial team at the church.
“It’s been very therapeutic,” Mondragon said about working on the project. “I lost my mother, Elvia Mondragon, my best friend, it’s going to be a year next month. It’s been very therapeutic for me to be a part of this memorial team, to honor my mother, and also give the opportunity to community members to also buy a brick, and have their loved one’s name on it, because I know what it’s like to lose someone of COVID, I know what it’s like to lose family members.”
Mondragon has already purchased the brick to honor her mother.
“You have three lines, and my mom’s is going to say ‘my loving mother’ on the first line. It’s going to say, ‘Elvia R. Mondragon,’ and on the last line, it’s going to have ‘vaya con dios,” that was my mom’s favorite song,” she said. “My mom went through rehab, and she always wanted that song as they walked her out, and it was also the song I sung to her when she took her last breath.”
Mondragon hopes this garden will allow her to pray with her mother and feel closer to her. She also hopes it will provide the same to members of the community.
“By having this garden, we’re giving community members the chance to come and be with their loved ones in spirit, just like I will be with my mother,” she said.
Bricks are not limited to just members of the church, they are open to anyone looking to memorialize a loved one lost to COVID-19. To purchase a brick, visit the church at 5830 Williams Dr. in Corpus Christi, call the church at 361-991-7891, or visit the church’s website.
The bricks will be on sale through Dec. 31, and construction on the garden will begin after that.