HOUSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholics around the United States joined Houston in prayer Saturday to send a message to satanists and ambivalent atheists that God will not be mocked.
Church Militant broke the story of Houston Brash Brewery Company's planned "Black Mass" event that weekend, in which the brewing company was holding a publicity event to roll out its new "Black Mass" beer, complete with a satanic liturgy.
In response, hundreds of Catholics came together in Houston to offer prayers of reparation. Some of the participants drove hundreds of miles from Louisiana and various Texas cities to show solidarity at participating churches and on the sidewalk outside the brewery.
Church Militant launched a survey online asking how many people visting the website offered a Rosary in reparation. At time of publication, 1,100 people had responded indicating they had offered prayers regarding the event.
Christian critics of the rally have said you shouldn't bring attention to the activity of satanists, claiming they aren't really performing a Black Mass and only seeking attention.
A source involved in the rally said, "Whether or not people believe Satan is real, doesn't matter. We live in a culture where people are actively rebelling against God, at the worst, or ambivalent enough to think casual mockery does not matter."
"Praying for souls separated from the Truth is never free advertisement," he said. "The event was already sold out. Prayer is for the conversion of souls and a demonstration of our love for God."
There were 150 people in the rally outside the brewery between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., and participants say it was peaceful throughout. Houston police were on location and kept people from both sides separate.
Mike Stasiowski travelled 70 miles from College Station, Texas, observing:
The Satanists tried to intimidate us a few times. At one point, they had somebody who actually infiltrated our group and was taking pictures of our members. When I saw this, I mentioned it to the Houston police and they took them out right away. The Houston Police were really great. There were six officers there and they made sure that we were not harassed in any way.
The people I met in Houston were very enthusiastic. There was 150 people, and many were carrying signs or crosses and so forth. The Satanists had a few feeble attempts to disrupt us — at one point they had a guy that was driving a motorcycle up the road and revving it. That only happened once — the Houston Police were not having any of that. ... The police were really great in keeping order, and the people were enthusiastic, and I was just pleased with it when I went down there — just being among the people and praying and so forth. It was a great experience.
A group of 20 men returned at the time of the Black Mass at 11 p.m. to recite the Rosary.
The owner of Brash Brewing Company declined to comment.
Chis Walker participated in the rally and was not impressed by the satanists:
The one thing I observed when I was there is the Satanists had a child with them across the street. She wasn't always out there but why is she there at all? I have to admit I was nervous when I arrived because I'd never attended something like this and I wasn't sure what they might do. Frankly, after being there for 45 minutes, they seemed more like "toothless lions." A lot of their gestures were juvenile and just plain goofy. It's like watching a Satanic Mickey Mouse Club. A couple of times guys on motorcycles roared by to drown out our prayers but we kept praying. People brought their crucifixes and held them boldly so the satanists' eyes could not ignore them. They couldn't have had more than eight people out there at once vs. our 150 plus. God's family always wins.
According to The Satanic Temple-Houston's Twitter feed, they boasted about the fact that Catholics had not been able to prevent their satanic liturgy.
Church Militant held its own prayers of reparation in the studio late Saturday night. One priest, who wished to remain anonymous, commented:
A lot of publicity was made about a Black Mass being celebrated by a group of satanists in Houston, Texas this past weekend. One blessing about the advanced warning of such a sacrilegious event was that faithful Christians of all sorts could counter such a blasphemous event with sincere prayers to God.
The Church Militant crew in consort with thousands of other faithful men and women throughout the United States assembled and offered a Rosary and Mass of Reparation to God at gidnight Saturday the 23rd. The stated intention for the Rosary and Mass of Reparation was for the end to all blasphemies, sacrileges and profanities made against the Almighty.
And despite the assembly taking place at midnight, 20 members of the Church Militant crew participated in Sacred Event.
The priest who celebrated the Mass reminded the participants not to get discouraged by all the publicity and media attention the Black Mass garnered, such negative, evil things people easily latch on to and like to banter about in this fallen world during these evil days. Additionally, the priest went on to say Sacred Scripture reminds us, the faithful, that in the end, at the culmination of time, Christ will triumph, and Satan will once and for all be banished to perdition. Moreover, the priest reminded the assembly of the importance of reciting the St. Michael prayer often and especially when temptation rears its head.