Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, rededicated Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Guadalupe & Pablo Reyes’ tribute: Our Lady of Guadalupe donation a family affair

September 15, 1999
Santa Paula News
Sunday’s celebration Mass that drew thousands of parishioners and church leaders - including Cardinal Roger Mahony and Thomas J. Curry, Regional Auxiliary Bishop - to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was special to all, and even more special to Guadalupe and the late Pablo V. Reyes, honored with the new Baptismal Font dedicated to their lifetime involvement in the church. Pablo himself built their Garcia Street home about 50 years ago, and he used the natural Sespe stone so common in the area for the exterior wall, preparing, cutting and facing each stone carefully to accentuate its natural beauty.Like many in the area, Our Lady of Guadalupe was an integral part of the Reyes’ family: their four children were baptised there, made their First Communions and Confirmations at the church. Sisters Irma and Hilda married their husbands there.Irma Romero and her brother Paul Reyes accompanied their mother Guadalupe to Sunday’s celebration Mass of the completion of the $1.3 million project. The church area was almost doubled, there are new and expanded pews, chairs and many religious articles; beautiful exterior Sespe stone work was left intact and matched in the new part of the church by stone from the immediate area. Seismic retrofitting strengthened the building.Sunday’s rededication was an “emotional time for all of us,” said Paul. “Mom was real thrilled and anxious to be there. . .”The rededication celebration offered an opportunity to again see Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry. Cardinal Mahony had been met with years ago when Paul Reyes, Bob Borrego and Father Rene Juarez - the construction committee - presented the renovation and expansion project.
The project relied heavily on community donations and the generosity of those that participated in the campaign of memorial giving: the Reyes donated the cost of the Baptismal Font and, since Pablo Reyes had been a bricklayer and stone mason, the latter his “true love, working with stone,” noted Paul, all interior stone. Employees of Reyes Masonry did the work.One stone that Pablo had prepared lovingly decades ago for his own home was removed and placed in the new Baptismal Font.“It had been our hope that he could have laid the first stone, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. However, he was there with us when we did. The very involved and dedicated parish community is very happy with our new building,” said Paul. “It’s a godsend.”

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