DIOS TE BENDIGA, TOYOTA: God bless the baby Tundra 

Despite the A-listers' absence, about 30 regulars of García's faithful flock gathered in the sparsely furnished church that stands adjacent to where the wheels of government spin in perpetuity. One woman rested on her knees and held her hands up in fervent prayer as García lit candles, bells rang in the church tower, and the small congregation sang praises to God as television cameras focused on the priest.

"For the blessings the Toyota Company brings to San Antonio, we need to give thanks," García said, explaining through his sermon the reason for the "Get the Feeling" theme of the Mass.

"Halleluah, Halleluah, Halleluah," the faithful chanted to García's urging that we need to "escuchamos la palabra del Señor."

After touching on the unhappy subject of the lost space shuttle Columbia and the struggles that human beings experience, García said the coming of Toyota has impacted San Antonio in a way it has never experienced: "This is first and foremost a blessing from God."

Forget the mad scramble and feverish negotiations of local elected officials to court Toyota kaichos during the past few months: God did this, and she deserves proper credit.

García explained the reason he was delivering such a sermon - one that seemed to cross the line between church and state - and touched upon another brilliant gambit in the free-enterprise chess game. "San Fernando has existed in San Antonio for the past 273 years, and it has seen the worst tragedies and the happiest moments in the city," García said before the congregation sent up a prayer that Toyota would be a good corporate citizen when it sets up shop on the long-neglected South Side. The point is that San Fernando Cathedral, from its vantage point in the center of San Antonio, has been an integral part of the city's long history.

"God is good to us, and his goodness that has been given through the (Toyota) plant will last for generations to come." •

More by Michael Cary



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