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Victoria Shelton bridges English- and Spanish-speakers

Pilgrimage to Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe strengthened Catholic faith

Published: November 25, 2013   
Once adrift from her Catholic faith, Victoria Shelton is now a fixture at St. Edward Church, Texarkana.

Name: Victoria Vieiro Shelton

Parish: St. Edward Church

City: Texarkana

Family: Widowed for eight years (married to the late Marvin C. Shelton Jr.) and one adult son, Hugh

Why you want to know Victoria: As a secretary in the parish office, Victoria serves as a bridge between English- and Spanish-speaking parishioners. She is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and is fluent in Spanish and English. Father Paul Francis Worm, pastor, said of her: “Victoria has been a great help to our parish for many years now. She has helped us transition from a strictly English-speaking Anglo parish to a bilingual community, welcoming Spanish-speaking immigrants into our midst and helping us to minister to them. It’s an ongoing process and she is integral to it as our bilingual secretary. She helps me understand Latino culture, and she translates my homilies during Mass when I call upon her to do so. She even takes care of my cats when I’m out of town.”


Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Arkansas Catholic delivers a year of faith.” What have you done or plan to do to strengthen your faith this year?

I made a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I made a promise to Our Lady 20 years before, that I was going to go visit her. It strengthened my faith to be able to actually see with my own eyes the Blessed Mother on Juan Diego’s cloak. Another thing I have done to strengthen my faith is to sign up for the Little Rock Theology Institute.

How did your love for Our Lady of Guadalupe come about?

I had drifted away from God, and a Catholic couple who loved Our Lady of Guadalupe very much influenced me. In 1992, I came back to the Church, and I know that Our Lady of Guadalupe drew me back to the faith. 

In addition to your work in the office, what else do you do at St. Edward?

I am a member of both a Spanish-speaking and English-speaking prayer group. Once a month we pray for people at the altar after Mass. I am a catechist, teaching RCIA classes in Spanish; I’m a lector and extraordinary minister of Communion; I take Communion to the sick. 

What is the best thing about your parish?

I have been a member of St. Edward since 1992. It feels like home. It has that old-country feel about it. I feel the presence of God.


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