In late July, four residents of Cholla Bay, José Ramón Orozco Rodríguez, Thomas Scribner, Francisco León Pérez, and Julio Guadalupe Félix, set out in a panga for a day of fishing.

When the boat was capsized by waves, the four men, with just two life jackets and a cooler box for flotation, swam for nearly 11 hours to reach the shore.

Everyone who heard the story of their survival said, “Thank God!” But Padre Marco Lopez, pastor for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in La Cholla did more. He announced there would be a Mass of Thanksgiving to give the men and their families a tangible way to give thanks for their survival.

Father Marco said, “These men were given a second chance to live. They were reborn.”


Father Marco Lopez gathers the survivors in for a blessing.

The survivors (L-R) Julio Guadalupe Felix, Francisco Leon Perez, Jose Ramon Orozco Rodriguez and Tomas Scribner with Father Marco Lopez and Father Ignacio Parra, a Rocky Point native and seminary instructor.