Bill Pacheco, with Faith, natural, God-given abilities and a blessing from Fr. Joel Lasutaz, pastor of St. Mary Help of Christians, transformed a small section dirt in front of his house into a beautiful, lush garden. Everything he planted has a biblical meaning. Before I tell you about his garden, here’s a little bit about Bill’s story that led up to him planting this garden.
Bill is a parishioner of St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church. Like his garden, Bill’s faith took lots of care and time to grow into what it is today. Just one year ago he was walking seven miles, seven days a week to St. Mary’s to work on receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. After getting a bike, he rode to church every Sundy no matter what the weather was like. In October 2022, his sponsor helped him go to Medjugorje. He made this trip with a broken leg and foot after falling off a ladder. And three years before he suffered a stroke.
"Like his garden, Bill’s faith took lots of care and time to grow into what it is today."
On returning to Pueblo, Bill prayed for months to find a house close to the church. With help, he found a house across from St. Mary’s. It was meant to be as the address of the house is the same as Bill’s birthday (day & month). And the park next to the church has the same name he chose for his Confirmation.
Late in the spring of 2023, Bill began preparing the dirt in front of his small home and transforming it into rich, fertile soil needed for plants to grow. As you walk around the garden, Bill explains the significance of each plant:
3 large sunflowers stand for God (in the middle), and one on either side for the sun and the moon.
6 watermelon plants for the days of the week; a 7th plant by itself for Sunday.
Star-shaped flowers on the tomato plants represent the stars that Jesus told Abraham his offspring would be like.
3 cucumber plants for Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.
1 sunflower for Moses with a wooden staff.
40 corns for the 40 days when Moses went to get the Ten Commandments.
10 cayenne peppers for the Ten Commandments.
1 Burning Bush (green leaves with pink).
2 tablets/Ten Commandments (bricks).
40 pea plants for the 40 days in the desert.
12 jalapeno pants for the 12 Apostles.
3 sunflowers representing the crucifixion—1 huge sunflower in the middle for Jesus and one on the left and right representing the thieves.
3 tomato plants represent the three days in the tomb.
33 corns for Jesus’ age at resurrection (separated from the garden).
20 pea plants for the 2000 years of life since Jesus’ birth.
Morning Glories are planted all around the garden in the shape of a star for David of Israel
Adding a little more to personalize his garden, Bill planted 57 Pueblo chilis for the year he was born in Manassa, Colorado and 17 beans to represent his large family.
He already has many plans for additions to next year’s garden and would like to plant cucumbers next to the church for the homeless to enjoy. Bill’s growing Faith is a wonderful experience for all who know him and are blessed in meeting him.
Bill’s garden is full of bounty from his hard work and God’s blessings!
By Guest Columnist, St. Mary Help of Christians, Pueblo
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