Thursday, November 23, 2006
In April of 1541, [Catholic Conquistador Francisco] Coronado, with a group of soldiers and some missionaries … headed north-east and crossed a section of [what is now] northwest Texas (the Panhandle). In encountering some of the local Indians the missionaries found that the natives were immediately open to receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After a few weeks of instruction, members of the Jumano Indian tribe converted and received Baptism. The expedition then arrived in Palo Duro Canyon where, on May 29, Father Juan Padilla, O.F.M., offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. … A thanksgiving feast followed. It consisted of game that had earlier been caught. The feast was celebrated in thanksgiving to God for His many blessings and for the recent converts. This event is the first actual Thanksgiving Day celebrated in America by Christians. – from the soon-to-be published Journey America: Pathways to the Present by Andrew S. Miller, Marian Publications, Inc.