San Antonio Archbishop Holds ‘Mass Of Mourning And Hope’ For Smuggling Victims

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 21, 2017 1:27 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio held a mass for immigrants this weekend.

Among the congregants was the family of a man who died in a stifling semitrailer, left in a San Antonio parking lot last month.

Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports:

July’s tragic trailer incident took center-stage at Sunday’s mass, in prayers lead by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller.

“We want to commemorate the 10 that died. We want to pray for those who are in recover,” he said.

Parishioners filled the pews of San Fernando Cathedral. The archbishop began the gathering with a prayer for the migrant. He called it a “mass of mourning and hope.”

“…in which we proclaim the dignity of each human person and condemn any action of racism and discrimination,” he said.

Ten candles were placed under a crucifix of Jesus. Each one a representation of the 10 from the trailer that died. Ricardo Martinez Esparza is one is of the deceased. He was 24. His family was present in the cathedral. The archbishop lead a prayer for them.

Martinez was from Zacatecas Mexico. His body has already returned home. His family will remain in the U.S. about two weeks.  A spokesperson for the Martinez family said they were not ready to speak publically yet. There are at least two people who remain in the hospital. The archbishop has been visiting with them.

“One of them, there is a little bit of improvement. Another one that is… we hope he will be able to make it,” García-Siller said.

Many of the survivors from the trailer are in federal custody and could testify against the driver of the truck, James Matthew Bradley. Bradley was indicted by a grand jury last week. He faces another arraignment next Monday.

The State of Texas has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal court ordered it to redraw two congressional districts.

Last Tuesday, a three-judge panel ruled that the the districts violate the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution because they were drawn to intentionally dilute the voting strength of minorities.

The court gave Texas three days to decide whether the legislature would redraw the congressional districts or let the court do it.

Last Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s not doing anything until the U.S. Supreme Court weights in and today, the Texas Attorney General’s Office weighed in:

“Governor Abbott respectfully declines the court’s invitation at this time to ask the legislature to take up redistricting, reserving his constitutional power to convene the legislature only if the Supreme Court determines the state’s maps violate the law,” says Marc Rylander, communications director for Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton also asked the federal court in San Antonio to delay its ruling while the appeal proceeds. The court wants new maps in place in time for the 2018 elections.

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington plans to fly only American flags from now on.

The theme park announced that it will remove its Confederate flag, after initially keeping it in place following the deadly white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The park was named for the six flags that have flown over Texas during the course of its history, including those of France, Spain and Mexico.