|Fallen miners, Carlos Payan Villa and Jose Luis Hernandez lost their lives in the Aug. 6 mine disaster. A funeral mass was said on their behalf at the Mission San Rafael on Sept. 6.|
Funeral masses were held for two of the fallen miners who died when the Crandall Canyon Coal mine disaster occurred on Aug. 6. Carlos Payan Villa and Jose Luis Hernandez were remembered at the Mission San Rafael Catholic Church on Sept. 6. Villa was born on Oct. 29, 1984 in Sinaloa, Mexico. Hernandez was born on April 25, 1984 in Sinaloa, Mexico. Both miners were employed at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Huntington Canyon.
Many friends and family members as well as fellow miners gathered to honor the two miners. Father Don Hope of the Notre Dame de Lourdes and San Rafael Mission was one of the priests to officiate at the funeral mass along with Oscar Martinez and Omar Ontiveros. The funeral mass was conducted in Spanish.
Father Hope spoke to those present and said this is a bitter time. A time to say goodbye. He asked mourners to remember all the ways that they loved you and made you feel special. At this time he asked God to take these brothers to himself. In the gospel of John it tells us that Jesus died on the cross that we might be free from sin. Jesus looked down from the cross and saw his mother Mary. He saw his apostle John and said, "Behold your mother," he told Mary, to behold her son," He knew he was soon to depart and wanted John to look after Mary for him. Just as those left behind at this time of loss will have God to look after them. We are God's beloved disciples and it is our time to support and embrace one another and to lift up. Everyone is special and we are to model our lives after Jesus' actions. "As we reflect on Carlos and Luis and their companions. We can show how much we love them by continuing on in this way. Accept them into God's kingdom. Let the tears of loss become tears of joy as Jesus welcomes our brothers to be with him. Let us begin to heal from this pain and grief."
Father Martinez spoke of putting Christ first in our lives and living lives centered around Christ. Christ loves us and we must love each other. He instructed those present to be thankful to Christ for all we have. He said we have lost friends. Carlos and Luis and companions and friends have gone to sleep in Christ. It is time to say good-bye.
There was a reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. "The Lord God will destroy death forever. On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever.
"The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken.
"On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us. This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us."
Carlos was described as a young man who loved his family and loved his cars. Luis loved his family very much. Both were hard working young men just trying to get ahead in life as their lives were struck short on Aug. 6.