Twenty-five chrysanthemums were placed near a portrait of César E. Chávez at San Antonio: La Trinidad UMC during an evening worship service to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of his death.
Bishop Joel Martinez, Retired: United Methodist Church, led the ecumenical worship service with La Trindad Pastors Rev. John Feagins and Rev. Raquel Feagins. Father David Garcia, Archdiocese of San Antonio: Mission Concepción, provided an invocation and prayer to the faithful friends of César Chávez.
“We give you thanks because of the way in which César lived; which was a way that was humble, but at the same time dynamic,” said Father Garcia. “It was simple, but at the same time he lifted up so many people to a whole new life. After 25 years, we are at a new moment of history; a new era with new challenges.”
Former United Farm Workers Texas Director Rebecca Flores emphasized the hard work of migrant farmers with a table of vegetables, fruit, and campesino tools.
“We could not have a service without recognizing that César Chávez dedicated his life to the people who work on the farms to bring our food to our tables,” said Flores. “César and Dolores Huerta started a revolution to change a system that existed for centuries. They fought a billion-dollar system that treated workers like tools to be discarded, broken. A system that called people ‘hands,’ ‘braceros,’ never a human being.”
Bishop Martinez shared a joint letter from the César Chávez Foundation and the United Farm Workers of America; as well as from the United Methodist Council of Bishops.
Then he blessed a candle that was subsequently sent to the Chávez family to recognize “the gift César was to all of us and to the people we will never know, some of whom are now in the heavenly choirs.”