The Word Among Us

June 2019 Issue

Conversion by Degrees

The story of Fr. Rick Thomas and his Spirit-filled ministry.

By: Fr. Nathan W. O’Halloran, SJ

Conversion by Degrees: The story of Fr. Rick Thomas and his Spirit-filled ministry. by Fr. Nathan W. O’Halloran, SJ

The city of Juárez, Mexico, is called the sister city of El Paso, Texas. It’s just south of the US border, and the two cities appear to merge on a map. Drive a few miles north, and you’ll hit another boundary line—New Mexico. Right there by the Rio Grande River, a little-known community of Catholic lay missionaries resides in voluntary poverty and service to the poor. The community is called The Lord’s Ranch, and their life’s work is to meet the many spiritual and material needs to be found in neighboring El Paso and Juárez.

The Lord’s Ranch was founded in 1975 by a Jesuit priest named Fr. Rick Thomas. His gospel-centered charismatic faith drew lay missionaries...

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