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From An Empty Room to a Place of Worship
Regina Caeli Community officially began with the arrival of Fr. Van Vliet in late August. First Mass: September 4, 2011 in the Family Life Center (FLC) of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (SEAS), our host parish. Fr. Lockey, pastor of SEAS, warmly welcomed us at the end of the Mass. With his permission, and under the guidance and assistance of Fr. Van Vliet, volunteers worked on the worship space in the FLC: improving the temporary altar, constructing backdrops, communion rails and kneelers, adding rugs, and supplementing the existing altar set.
Travelled to Plantersville, one hour north of Houston, to visit one of the Painted Churches of Texas. This one was built by German immigrants in the early 1900's. Fr. Van Vliet offered a Mass for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and after a barbeque picnic, Fr. Edward Kucera, pastor of St. Mary's, gave a tour and oral history of the church. The trip ended with a rosary for the Poor Souls at the parish cemetery.
First Midnight Mass in Houston in over 40 years!
Heavy rainstorms with area flooding and cold temperatures on Christmas Eve. Downpours and road flooding made travel difficult, but still our community (yet to be a parish) came. The Mass was not only the first Traditional Christmas Vigil Mass said in over 40 years, it was also the only Mass in Houston that began at midnight.