Faith. Words. Diligence. Moving Forward In Your Pursuit of Happiness: A Tribute to Father Alex

Father Alex is provided us with a tearful homily this past weekend at our little church of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Somerset, TX. In his last message he addressed parishioners to abide by 3 simple words when you feel lost or going through life’s numerous adversities. “Faith, Words, & Diligence.” He said that we have so much to be thankful for in our country, we celebrate our independence and are given the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But God wants so much of us than to just live. He wants us to thrive. He wants each of us to live a life where we are in the constant pursuit of our own happiness, to not just live the day to day going though the notions but to be passionate about our purpose that God intended for us to live. He also further stated that if at anytime you feel lost if you practice to grow stronger in your Faith, place your trust in his Words, and Diligently live by the message he has taught us you will continue to move Forward. FWD.

Through this message Father Alex invites us to pursue what God’s plan is for each of us, even if we don’t even know what that may be. To always know that the paths we are placed on in life may not always be easy, but God is placing us on a path that he intended in order to pursue our happiness.

We are given one life to live, to make it ours and to live it in the best light possible.

The power of his message this past Sunday left us in tears. We will miss him as he is moving to impact the lives of a larger parish. We know that it may not be his choice to leave but it’s God’s will to seek even Father Alex’s larger purpose to not only his life in the pursuit of happiness but possibly 100s more.

We were so thankful for his time with us, for the messages and guidance he had given to our family throughout the past 6 years. He was able to witness marriage and be present for our life chapters as we introduced children into our family.

Thank you Father Alex for all that you do and I know and pray that you will accomplish wonderful purposes for so many other families as you did for ours.

Father Alex in front of our beloved St. Mary’s Church. Build in 1933 and has served as a home to numerous occasions in our family. My father was baptized here, these pews were where he began his first round of prayers and then later brought myself along with my siblings, Kristan and Brad to do the same. We were baptized here and prayed together with our small parish of 100 or so members. Every time I step foot in this small rock house church it feels like home.

Lexi beginning her start in the church. Waiting to be baptized!

Sweet Lexi becoming a member of the Catholic Church, baptized in the Christian faith. I am so honored to have been part of this action for this sweet child.

Father Alex with our sweet Alexis Ray just newly baptized into the Catholic Faith. My sister, Kristan along with her husband & my brother in law, Jonathan.

I was so honored to be Alexis’s God Mother and to help guide her in her faith. Her God Father, Tyler a long time best friend to Jonathan also shares this same role.

Such a beautiful little family!

And those fun uncles!!

My parents, “Popo” & “Nana” along side with Jonathan’s parents Teri & Tommy!

Father Alex we pray that your light continues to shine so much through others as it has brightened our lives. Thank you for your years of service to our small hometown parish. We love you and will pray that God continues to guide you in the pursuit of happiness and bring God’s light to numerous families as you have done for ours.

Mucho Love,


  1. Kristen

    July 3rd, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Love this story, feature, ADORABLE baby girl, and BEATIFUL photos! Great work UTS!

  2. Bailey murray

    July 11th, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Such great photos! (@baymur)

  3. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you Bailey!! Love you girl!

  4. Erika

    July 13th, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    You are blessed to have father Alex in your life and we are blessed to have your blog in ours. Have a bless day. Instagram name: smiley872

  5. Erika

    July 13th, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Your baby is so cute. Looking at these pictures makes me want to baptize my 5-month-old baby soon. @smiley872

  6. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I am so happy that this blog post could inspire baptism in your family! It’s a wonderful sacrament and the start of wonderful journey in their faith.

  7. Peggy

    July 17th, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    What a beautiful testimony to your faith! Loved reading this story about your family’s church that holds such special memories to all of you!

    Peggy @pl_georg

  8. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you Peggy! Life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have the big man upstairs to thank for each day! I’m so blessed to have others that love this vision as well!

  9. Jeralyn

    July 17th, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Such precious photos, especially little Lexi and now big Parker! Love the Jenschke clan! @agcommunicator

  10. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Yes! They’re both growing up so fast!! We love you too!

  11. Courtney

    July 17th, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Such a beautiful post! Can’t wait to baptize our 3 week old baby girl in a church that also has family history 🙌🏼 @court956

  12. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    How wonderful!! I love to see tradition carry through in families and I know the baptism it going to be an absolutely beautiful day!

  13. Megan Martin

    July 18th, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Love this!! Welcome to the Church!

  14. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks Megan! It was a beautiful day to welcome Lexi into our faith!

  15. Sarah

    July 18th, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Love everything about this! (@sarahbnfranklin)

  16. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks Sarah!

  17. Mackenzie Turner

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:38 am

    These pictures are beautiful. Great way to capture this special moment. And man is Parker getting big! Instagram: mackenzie_t8

  18. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you Makenzie!! Yes, Parker is growing waaaay too fast! My sweet little boy!!

  19. Meagan Grubb

    July 18th, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Sweet post and sweet family! 💜
    Insta: meagan.grubb

  20. jrakowitz

    July 18th, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you Megan!! You’re too kind!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


"Jessica is so passionate about photography, not only does she take amazing pictures BUT she also makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her! She’s very professional but FUN!! I used her for my engagement photos and my wedding, beyond happy with her! Will use her for years to come!!"

- Kailey Poth, 2018 UTS Bride 

more > 



"Jessicas passion for photography radiated from her soul the moment I met her. When looking for a photographer, We decided that we would call a few to get a feel for the type of people they were and if they (the photographer) would fit into what we were looking for in our wedding vendors. We saw your work, we LOVED your work, but we didn’t know you. From our first conversation up until now you made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day! Day of you made me feel like the prettiest bride to ever walk this planet! Your photos blew my husband (I love saying “husband”) away! You captured the uniqueness and beauty of us, our surroundings and our guest! This review, nor my “thank you”, will ever be enough to show you how grateful we are for your talent!"

- Eliza Dusek, Past UTS Bride

more > 



"I was so lucky to have Jessica as my photographer. I am absolutely thrilled with my engagement and wedding photos. The first time I spoke to her on the phone, I immediately liked her. It was important to me for me to actually LIKE my photographer because you really do spend a lot of time with them on one of the most important days in your life. The reason it is so important to be comfortable around them is because IT WILL show in your face if you’re not. My husband and I really enjoyed our photoshoots with Jessica. It can be kinda awkward to take a lot of photos but she is so funny and goofy that she kept both of us laughing and relaxed. As for the photos, they are BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, these are the nicest pictures anyone has taken of me. The pictures are light, bright, and airy. I feel like a beautiful bride when I look at them. They are so nice in fact, that the company that made my wedding dress, Jasmine Bridal, has featured my photos several times! Jessica is also a really creative person and will find ways to make your photos look amazing. During our wedding reception, I was kinda tired after a LONG day but she had a great idea to do these romantic night time shots. I am SO GLAD I decided to do them. They are absolutely gorgeous. It’s hard to believe it's me and my husband! Like, that’s us?? She made us look SO GOOD! And really, that’s all you want. You want to love your pictures and be happy with them because they are an investment. I know that I’ll look at these photos many years from now and still enjoy them - that’s how happy I am with them."

- Natalie Pearce, UTS Past Bride

more > 



"I can not express how much I love our maternity pictures that Jessica took for us! Not only was she patient, but she also made it super easy to relax and have fun, which in turn, ended up giving us amazing photos and memories for a lifetime time to come. Jessica is such a sweet, kind soul and is sure to provide you with years of lasting memories of your family and life's most important milestones!! Thank you Jessica." 

  - Amanda Zuniga, Past UTS Client 

more > 


Let's get together!

Wedding and Portrait Photography

pleasanton, texas & World Wide