Weslaco held its first Evening of Prayer on May 9, 2023, at Judge Gilbert Garza Park.
An opening performance was given by Alexcia Rivera.
The Presentation of Colors was made by the Weslaco Police and Fire Department Honor Guard. The National Anthem was sung by Jasmine Rico-Joens, Public Relations Officer for the City of Weslaco.
City Manager Martin Garza began the evening by sharing the reason why Weslaco's Evening of Prayer was organized.
"Prayer is an important part of every faithful person’s life and it has been important to our nation from the very beginning.
National Day of Prayer dates back to General George Washington when he asked for a day of fasting and prayer.
He asked his soldiers to "turn to God in prayer and meditation."
Presidents, since the beginning, have called the nation to pray and today, the City of Weslaco is answering the call."
Mayor David Suarez welcomed the community to the event. He addressed the gathered crowd with words of encouragement and thanks.
"Tonight, we gather in the spirit of unity and faith for Weslaco’s Evening of Prayer.
It is an honor to stand before you and share in this sacred moment of reflection and connection.
In a world filled with constant noise and commotion, this evening is a chance to pause, and seek assistance through the power of prayer."
"As a mayor, I've seen the good that can happen when friends and neighbors come together for a common purpose to help each other, even though they may have different ideas on how to worship.
There are themes that we can pray over that are important to all of us that we all feel the need for divine inspiration and support."
Mayor David Suarez also welcomed the representatives of various faiths that were present.
Pastor Rajaratnam Masilamony from Weslaco Seventh Day Adventist Church prayed for City Officials, staff, and City business.
Pastor Elias Garza of Calvary Christian Center prayed for first responders. He asked the Lord to guard those who put their lives on the line every day to protect the community and keep everyone safe.
A musical number by San Martin de Porres Children's Choir was performed.
A prayer for Mother Earth was made by Pastor Steven Parker of First Baptist Church. He thanked God for the beautiful climate, and asked for his protection in the upcoming hurricane season.
Brother William Oestreich of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints elevated a prayer for health. He prayed for physical, mental and emotional health in Weslaco.
A performance by Cleckler-Heald Elementary School Choir was made under the direction of Gloria Champion.
Pastor Timothy Aguiar prayed for the children. He asked for protection over Weslaco schools, teachers, and the children in their everyday classes.
Pastor David Mendoza of Family Church prayed for immigrants. He prayed for the Rio Grande Valley as it is the front lines of receiving those from other countries who are looking for hope.
Cleckler-Heald Elementary once again performed a musical number.
The last prayer of the night was by Father Solis of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church for all families, neighbors, and friends in Weslaco.
Closing remarks were made by City Manager Martin Garza
"As we conclude this Evening of Prayer, may the spirit of love and compassion we have cultivated tonight extend far beyond this evening’s event. May it ripple out into the neighborhoods of Weslaco, touching the lives of all those in need. May it inspire us to be agents of positive change, to stand up for justice, and to promote peace and harmony in every interaction we have."
Musical Number by Jasmine Rico-Joens, who performed "America the Beautiful" while City of Weslaco department heads shared flowers with mothers in the crowd.
The attendees enjoyed sweet bread, sponsored by Highland Park Memorial Funeral Home.
by Maggie Perez, City of Weslaco