By Martha Phillips – Special to the Navarro County Gazette

Sunday, June 6 was an important day for Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and for Father Juan Carlos Marin. The Church was packed with parishioners and supporters from near and far, including the Bishop of Dallas, Edward Burns.

Fr. Marin also had support from several brother priests. Fr. Fernando Carranza, rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Diocese of Dallas and originally from Spain. Fr. Carranza has been a role model and guide to Fr. Marin during his formation and as a priest. Fr. Dominic Dieu Tran is a priest from Domus Dei Society. They have a small religious community in Hubbard, and he helps Fr. Marin in the parish regularly, Fr. Dei is originally from Vietnam.  Fr. Oscar Galindo is originally from Corsicana, and is a priest of the diocese of Bangalore, India.

However, the most important people to Fr. Marin traveled to Corsicana from Columbia and that would be his parents Luis Ovidio Marin and Myrian Cortes from Pereira and his siblings, David Marin and Juliana Marin from Bogota.

Fr. Juan Carlos Marin stands with his family (L to R): sister; Juliana Marin, mother; Myrian Cortes, Fr. Juan Carlos Marin, father; Luis Ovidio Marin, brother; David Marin – Courtsey photo 

The ceremony to install Fr. Marin as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, started at the open doors of the Church. Bishop Burns invited Fr. Marin into the church presenting him with both the key and the seal of the Church. Fr. Marin was surrounded by his family, office staff and his pastoral council as Bishop Burns prayed that Fr. Marin would preserve the teachings of the apostles, the sacraments and increase his flock.

As the ceremony progressed, Bishop Burns thanked Fr. Marin’s family and then presented Fr. Marin to the congregation where he was welcomed by a heartfelt applause. Fr. Marin was presented with his pastoral council and pledge to them to seek their counsel, guidance and advice in the spiritual and temporal care of the parish. Bishop Burns asked Fr. Marin to renew his ordination promises and renew his Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity with his hand placed on the Book of the Gospels followed by his official signature.

Bishop Burns then led Fr. Marin to different areas on the Church that will be the sacred sites of his ministry. First the Church bells, which mark the hours of prayer, announce both happy and sad occasions and the bells also summon the people to listen the word of God.

Next, to the Baptistery where the sacrament of baptism is received. Then the Ambry, where the Holy Oils are kept, the oil of the sick, the catechumens, and the holy chrism. Then they moved to the Confessional, where sinners come and leave forgiven. Bishop Burns led Fr. Marin to the ambo, where the Gospel is proclaimed, the Tabernacle that contains the Blessed Sacrament and finished with the Presidential chair, which is a symbol of the pastor, and is where the pastor will preside at Mass.

When asked how he felt about all the special attention, Fr. Marin stated, “At first, I felt a bit nervous. But having the presence of the bishop, other priests, my family and seeing the support of the family, I saw the love of God for me.” He also stated, “I love the parish, Corsicana, and Navarro County. People are very welcoming and supportive.” Becoming Pastor will bring stability to the parish and allow for future planning. 

Bishop burns spoke about connectedness and the importance of the Pastor being connected to his parishioners, but more importantly the connection that Fr. Marin has in the unbroken succession of the priesthood that leads back to the apostles and Jesus himself.

The installation ceremony was followed by a reception where many enjoyed the food and fellowship of this special occasion.

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