A memorial mass was held this weekend to honor the 30 people who died in the deadliest West Texas Tornado in history.

During the mass, tornado survivors and members of the community lit candles for each of their loved ones who lost their life.

Norma Rodriguez was a teacher at Head Start Community Center in Saragosa who lost six of her relatives.

Norma mentions how important it is that survivors should always remember their loved ones who died that tragic day.

“Well, they’re still remembering, every year and lighting a candle means lighting to their souls.”

Sam Brijalba, a man who was born and raised in Saragosa, lost two of his family members.

“It affected, uhh a lot of people’s lives. Uhh, and the survivors were also affected. Uhhh, many of them uhh were injured and they’re still dealing with those injuries. Uhh, it just, it just changed so many lives forever.”

One of the only two things that remained from the original church is a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The other, which isn’t shown here…a statue of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, which had the hands broken off.

It’s a faithful reminder to survivors that miracles can happen in times of tragedy.

For more on this mass and survivor stories from the tornado on May 22, 1987, visit https://www.yourbasin.com/news/remembering-deadly-tornado-saragosa-5-20-2022/.

Tornado Memorial Mass – Saragosa: (These 30 names below indicate the people who died from the F4 tornado that hit Saragosa on Friday, May 22, 1987. More than 40 people commemorated these victims by attending a 35th anniversary memorial mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 4 pm).

-Sylvestra Alvarez

-Maria Socorro Balderas 

-Dorothy Berdan

-Edward Herbert Berdan

-Anita Brijalba

-Eleanor Vasquez Brijalba

-Elsa Casias

-Elvira Casias

-Juanita Casias

-Amelia Vasquez Carrillo

-Jose Lucas Carrillo

-Olivia Rodriguez Contreras

-Kathy Locy Escobedo

-Irma Rodriguez Garza

-Jose Lionel Garza Jr.

-Elsa Herrera

-Jonathan Herrera

-Antonia Madrid

-Jose Madrid

-Jorge Martinez

-Roxanne Martinez

-Eva Meraz

-Pedro Porras Meraz

-Anastacio Morales

-Andrew Morales

-Corina Morales

-Maria Ninfa Ontiveros

-Matilde Mondagon Prieto

-Socorro Rodriguez

-Omero Perez Sanchez

Instructions to Donate: (You can support the Saragosa community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church by making a donation in-person. You can also easily donate online via the link below provided by Santa Rosa De Lima Catholic Church in Pecos under The Foundation for the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. Under the dropdown menu, choose “Sunday Collection/Our Lady of Guadalupe” with the desired donation amount. Another way to donate online through this link below is via your phone by simply texting 432-348-2309 this message: “Hi…I would like to donate today;” and then, follow the previous instructions when you get a message response with the link). https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/giving/santarosa

Aftermath Photos: (The link below includes the collection of aftermath photos caused by the Saragosa tornado. Kent Porter took these photos for The Midland Reporter-Telegram). https://www.mrt.com/news/article/Today-marks-the-32nd-anniversary-of-deadly-13874832.php#taboola-15