Bountiful Blessings: Shrimp fleet receives annual benediction ahead of new season

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

The Texas Shrimp Association (TSA) held its annual Blessing of the Fleet in advance of the opening of the 2018 commercial shrimping season on Sunday, July 15.

For the 13th year, the Rev. Mark Watters presided over the ceremony, delivering a sermon of hope, both for bountiful harvests and for sufficient numbers of crew.

“There will be no disappointment in this season in every effort that we put forward,” Watters said during his ceremony, using a recent interaction at an airport as a parable for maintaining hope in difficult situations.

The affable clergyman nearly didn’t make it to Brownsville this week after delays at the airport meant he couldn’t find a flight to the Rio Grande Valley. After help from several airline staffers, it was the help of a woman 8-months’ pregnant who finally found a way to get Watters on a plane.

It was she who told Watters that Valley shrimpers would not be disappointed. It was a moment that gave Watters pause, allowing him to reflect on the parallels with the shrimping industry — making do in difficult circumstances.

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