Helping Father Romeo at St. George Catholic Church in George West has always been a privilege and an honor for JoAnn and her husband Cosme Arciba. Both are Eucharistic ministers, and Cosme had led their youth group for many years. (I attended several of their youth sessions/retreats when I was the confirmation teacher at Sacred Heart, and I can see how all of the students look up to this beloved couple.)
When the coronavirus started in March, and we were instructed not to go to Holy Mass, Cosme and Jo Ann resolved it by being able to have the Holy Mass live-streamed through Facebook. I don’t understand the computer technology very well, but they made it so easy to understand. These daily holy Masses have continued as well as “praying the rosary” with Father Romeo. (Father said he has prayed more than 400 rosaries with the congregation and continues to tell us to “Pray, pray, pray.”)
Being able to “attend Holy Mass” while staying at home during this pandemic crisis is indeed appreciated by the many Catholic parishioners that participate. (I attend Mass at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart now because we are in the church choir, but I come home and turn it to the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass to hear Father Romeo’s homily and continue with the holy Mass again.) Viewing this is possible with the help of JoAnn, as she positions the camera, so we have a clear view of the lectors at the podium and Father Romeo and the altar servers at the church altar.
JoAnn and Cosme are blessed with daughter Clarisa who is following her mother’s footsteps in becoming a teacher. JoAnn has been an elementary teacher in GWISD for many years (a job that she loves!) and will soon be teaching in the primary school with smaller children. Their son “C.J.”…(Cosme, Jr.) is a proud member of the Mighty Longhorns and a 2020 GWISD graduate. Both of their children are also very active at St. George Catholic Church.
Volunteering to help set up the camera and helping Father Romeo in this televised media technology has “been a pleasure” for JoAnn, but daily 7 a.m. Masses and 3 p.m. rosaries are indeed a sacrifice in my book! Never did JoAnn expect that she was going to be recognized for her help to Father Romeo.
When Irma Pena, CDA member and church secretary for Father Romeo called me, I got excited! They wanted to surprise JoAnn during Holy Mass on Sunday, July 12, and present her with a certificate of appreciation! Jo Ann was indeed surprised when Father Romeo read it and called her to the church podium to accept her certificate, and I took a photo to share with you in this article! It reads “Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court St. George #2528 gratefully acknowledge JoAnn Arciba for her dedicated service to St. George during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you for providing media support to our parish community on Facebook by live-streaming daily, weekend Masses, holy days of obligation Masses, rosaries and all other spiritual means of support. Your time and efforts are truly appreciated. God bless you.” This was signed by Regent Gracey Bryce and Vice-Regent Yolanda Lewis.
Congratulations, JoAnn! We are indeed proud for all you and your family do to help us continue to prevail with our Catholic faith!