“Father, can we have a team roping?” “Who’ll organize it?” “I will, with the council’s support.” And with that, Mario and the Knights of Columbus in Kermit, TX embarked on planning the first-ever team roping benefit on a clear August night. When shared with the rest of St Thomas and St Joseph, the two month time frame was taken up with enthusiastic industriousness and a tenacious grit which are indicative of the people who make up our munificent community.
The K of C Council 10509 benefit hosted 526 roping teams with families from throughout New Mexico and Texas at the ACE Arena in Andrews, TX. The concessions, registrations, moving and roping of steers, Mass, the moving and roping of more steers, and a silent auction took seventeen hours or, the time to smoke 21 briskets the night before. There was not a quiet place on the arena grounds – the overcast parking lot filled with trucks, horse trailers and smoldering smoking pits. The bleachers crowded with spectators cheering on their family and friends. The hallways bustled with concessions, children running and more ropers registering for the next throw of a lasso. Everyone focused on the horses and steers barreling out onto the earthen arena with ropers trying to beat each other’s time for saddles and elaborate buckles commemorating their champion status.
Team Roping is a close-knit, community driven sport that developed from vaqueros passing the time on the range marking and moving droves of cattle throughout the roaming plains of the Wild West. For St. Thomas and St. Joseph, it’s more than just entertainment. It’s a family event centered on one goal - raising money for a new parish. And this event proves parishioners will put their heart and soul into the long-term project.
The concessions promptly organized by a parishioner, Frances, with help from so many were moving food and drinks faster than a Chico’s Tacos on a payday Friday with such ease, joy and efficiency throughout the seventeen hour grind. The Carin clan made it a family outing with no aspect of the benefit’s success unaided by them; Adan Jr. was loading the calves for the first roping that took a grueling six hours to sift out a champion; Ervey, one of the many volunteer firefighting parishioners who’ve twice run into the quaking inferno of an oil plant, was a steady and cheerful heart throughout the event. The Carrascos also had a mini-family reunion and all helped out with the shoots and even won a saddle.
The names and stories go on and on about Sir GK Urquidi and Council No. 10509’s team roping event benefiting the new construction for St Thomas and St Joseph, a small deserving community that continues to inspire each other and their proud priest with such tremendous devotion, values, and hard work toward affording a Church worthy of God—and itself.
Please pray for us on May 7th when the grind is cranked up again…